Back to Journals » Clinical Ophthalmology » Volume 14

Measuring Anterior Chamber Inflammation After Cataract Surgery: A Review of the Literature Focusing on the Correlation with Cystoid Macular Edema

Authors De Maria M, Iannetta D, Cimino L, Coassin M, Fontana L

Received 7 November 2019

Accepted for publication 11 December 2019

Published 9 January 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 41—52


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Video abstract presented by Michele De Maria.

Views: 449

Michele De Maria,1,2 Danilo Iannetta,1 Luca Cimino,3 Marco Coassin,4 Luigi Fontana1

1Ophthalmology Unit, AUSL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 2Clinical and Experimental Medicine Ph.D. Programme, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 3Ocular Immunology Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 4Ophthalmology, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Rome, Italy

Correspondence: Luigi Fontana
Ophthalmology Unit, AUSL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, Viale Risorgimento 80, Reggio Emilia 42122, Italy

Abstract: Cystoid macular edema (CME) is an infrequent, though potentially visually impairing, complication after uneventful cataract surgery. Rupture of the blood-aqueous barrier, with leakage of serum proteins into the aqueous humour, is the main pathogenic factor. However, only a few studies investigated the potential correlation between anterior chamber (AC) inflammation and the risk of cystoid macular changes occurring after surgery. This review aims to identify evidence of a correlation between AC inflammation and the risk of pseudophakic CME. One hundred eighty-seven prospective trials investigating AC inflammation after uncomplicated cataract surgery were identified. Methods of analysis of AC inflammation and the frequency of macular changes were recorded. In the majority (51%) of the studies, inflammation was assessed by clinical grading, followed by laser flare and cell photometry (LFCP) (42%) and aqueous humour sample (4%). Few studies (4%) adopted a combined LFCP and aqueous sample or clinical grading analysis. Sixteen (9%) studies investigated AC inflammation and macular changes by OCT (7%) or fluorescein angiography (2%). Correlation between the amount of postoperative AC inflammation and frequency of CME was documented in 7 studies, not confirmed in 2 studies, and not examined in the other 7. LFCP, more than the other methods of analysis, correlated with the frequency of CME postoperatively. Investigation of the relationship between AC inflammation and the risk of CME changes requires the adoption of quantitative methods of analysis of the inflammatory response after surgery. For this purpose, due to the low level of inflammation in the AC after uncomplicated cataract surgery, LFCP, more than subjective clinical grading, seems a more sensitive and reproducible method of measurement. Inflammation assessment after cataract surgery has a potential role in predicting the risk of CME development and may help to titrate the duration and intensity of treatment in relation to the surgical inflammatory response.

Keywords: anterior chamber inflammation, cataract surgery, clinical grading, laser flare photometry, anterior segment optical coherence tomography, aqueous humour sample, cystoid macular edema

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]