The risk of ischemic optic neuropathy post phacoemulsification cataract surgery

  • Mousa Victor Al-Madani
  • Nancy Khalaf Al-Raqqad
  • Naser Abdallah Al-Fgarra
  • Amal Mousa Al-Thawaby
  • Ahmed Abdelra’of Jaafar


Introduction: The aim was to study the risk of non arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy after phacoemulsification cataract surgery.

Methods: This study was conducted at King Hussein Medical Center during the period between January 2015 and July 2016. Patients attending ophthalmology
clinic complaining of decreased vision due to lens opacity were evaluated. Patients were divided into two groups. First group included patients with no medical illness and second group included patients with diabetes mellitus, hypertension or hyperlipidemia. The two groups were further divided into two subgroups. First subgroup included patients who had phacoemulsification surgery and second subgroup did not have surgery. All patients were followed up for 6 months. They were assessed by neuro-ophthalmologist looking for ischemic optic neuropathy.

Results: A total number of 568 patients were enrolled. Group 1A included patients with no medical illness who underwent surgery and group 1B did not undergo surgery. The number of patients in these two subgroups was 119 and 103 respectively. Number of patients in group 2A (medical illness and surgery) was 188 and number of patients in group 2B (medical illness and no surgery) was 130. The incidence of ischemic optic neuropathy was 4.3 % in group 2A, 4.2 % in group 1A, 0.8% in group 2B, and 0% in group 1B.

Conclusion: Phacoemulsification is a risk factor for non arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy independent of the presence of medical risk factors. Suggested  mechanisms would be local anaesthesia, intraocular pressure fluctuation and local intraocular inflammation.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688