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Trial Evaluates Treatments for Aphakia in Infants

Randomized trial examines intraocular lens implantation and contact lenses

FRIDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A randomized trial is examining the benefit of intraocular lens (IOL) implantation during cataract removal, or contact lenses after surgery, in infants younger than 6 months old, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Scott R. Lambert, M.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues randomly assigned 114 infants with unilateral congenital cataracts to cataract surgery with or without IOL implantation. Children who received an IOL had their residual refractive error corrected with glasses, while children who did not receive an IOL were treated with a contact lens.

The researchers note that while the median age at enrollment was 1.8 months, 50 children were 4 to 6 weeks old, 32 were 7 weeks to 3 months old, and the remaining 32 were 3 to 7 months old. On average, eyes with cataracts had shorter axial lengths and steeper corneas than the fellow eyes. The authors plan to determine grating acuity when the children are 12 months old, and HOTV visual acuity when the children are 4.5 years old.

"The optimal optical treatment of aphakia in infants is unknown," the authors write. "We believe that the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study, a multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial, will clarify whether IOL or contact lens treatment is associated with better visual outcomes after the surgical extraction of a unilateral congenital cataract during the first 6 months of life."

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