PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of phacoemulsification in patients with ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
METHODS: The occurrence of cataracts, cataract surgery, and its outcomes were analyzed in the medical records of 229 patients (458 eyes) with ocular GVHD. Outcome measures included pre- and postoperative corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) and the rate of postoperative complications.
RESULTS: Of the 458 eyes evaluated, 58 were pseudophakic; from the 400 phakic eyes, 238 (59 %) presented with cataracts and 62 (26 %) underwent cataract surgery. Analysis of postoperative complications and visual outcomes at 1 month was performed in 51 eyes in which detailed surgical and immediate postoperative records were available. Preoperatively, the mean CDVA was 0.67 ± 0.57 LogMAR (Snellen 20/93), improving postoperatively to 0.17 ± 0.18 (Snellen 20/29) at 1 month (P < 0.0001), and to 0.13 ± 0.14 (Snellen 20/26) by the final follow-up visit (P < 0.0001). Postoperative complications included corneal epithelial defects (8 %), filamentary keratitis (6 %), worsening of corneal epitheliopathy (16 %), posterior capsular opacification (18 %), and cystoid macular edema (4 %). A corrected distance visual acuity of 20/30 or better was achieved in 87 % of the eyes; suboptimal CDVA improvement was attributable to severe ocular surface disease, pre-existing advanced glaucoma, and prior macular surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: Phacoemulsification in patients with chronic ocular GVHD is a safe and efficacious procedure resulting in significant visual improvement. Overall, postoperative adverse events responded well to timely management.