Preoperative best corrected visual acuity and the status of the external limiting membrane and central macular thickness may be significant predictors of postoperative visual outcomes after cataract surgery in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, according to a study.
A total of 109 eyes of 70 patients affected by retinitis pigmentosa (RP) who underwent cataract surgery at the Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, China, were included in the study. All patients were treated with standard phacoemulsification and implantation of IOLs by experienced ophthalmologists. Complete ophthalmic examination, including spectral-domain OCT (3D OCT-2000, Topcon), direct ophthalmoscopy and BCVA measurements, was conducted preoperatively and postoperatively at 3 months follow-up.
Data on the ellipsoid zone (EZ), external limiting membrane (ELM) and central macular thickness (CMT) were evaluated and submitted to t tests to determine the correlation with postoperative BCVA changes.
Postoperative BCVA significantly increased in 52 eyes (47.7%) and was unchanged in 57 eyes (52.3%). Preoperative BCVA and integrity of the ELM and CMT were strongly associated with better visual outcomes.
“The EZ is the second hyperreflective band on OCT that corresponds with the anatomical location of the ellipsoid portion of the photoreceptor inner segment,” the study said, and its distortion reflects changes in the photoreceptor outer segment. In RP, the ELM is also a marker of photoreceptor integrity.
“To our knowledge, this is the first report on the relationship between the ELM line and VA in patients with RP after cataract surgery,” the study authors wrote.
A prominently better visual acuity was also correlated with a greater macular thickness, an indicator of lesser retinal atrophy. – by Michela Cimberle
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.