Foveal thickness after phacoemulsification as measured by optical coherence tomography
Gerasimos Th Georgopoulos, Dimitrios Papaconstantinou, Maria Niskopoulou, Marilita Moschos, Ilias Georgalas, Chrysanthi Koutsandrea
Glaucoma Department, Medical School, Athens University, Athens, Greece
Background: Despite a significant body of research, no consistency on postoperative foveal thickness as measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT), can be recorded. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effect of uncomplicated cataract surgery in the thickness of the retina in the foveal area during the early postoperative period.
Methods: In a prospective study, 79 eyes were assessed by OCT, on day 1, and weeks 2 and 4 after uncomplicated phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation in the Athens University Clinic. The outcome measure was the thickness of the retina in the foveal area.
Results: The thickness of the retina preoperatively is significantly smaller (150.4 ± 18.8) (p < 0.05) than the thickness of the retina on day 1 (171.8 ± 21) and week 2 (159.7 ± 19) and returned to the initial levels on week 4 (152 ± 17.1). The estimated correlation coefficients between preoperative and postoperative thickness of the retina were significant (p < 0.05). Conversely, no association was found between postoperative visual acuity and thickness of the retina, neither between the phacoemulsification energy and retinal thickness. Operation time, although inversely related with postoperative visual acuity, was not associated with the thickness of the retina.
Conclusions: Following phacoemulsification, an increase in the foveal thickness was detected in the early postoperative period, quantified and followed up by OCT. The foveal thickness returned to the preoperative level, 1 month following surgery in our study. No association was shown between intraoperative parameters and increased postoperative retinal thickness.
Keywords: optical coherence tomography, phacoemulsification, retinal thickness
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