Influence of cataract and small incision cataract surgery on the macular thickness measurements: an optical coherence tomography-based study

Anu F. Anand, C. V. Anthrayose Kakkanatt, Monsy T. Mathai, Minu Sasikumar


Background: Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive imaging technique for analysing retinal architecture. It is a common investigation for various optic disc and macular diseases like glaucoma and diabetic macular oedema nowadays. OCT image quality is affected by many factors especially media opacity due to cataract. This study was done to compare macular thickness measurements by OCT in the presence of cataract and after removal of the cataract by Small Incision Cataract Surgery (SICS).

Methods: A prospective observational study was designed which included 99 eyes of 99 patients with no optic disc and retinal pathology who underwent uncomplicated small incision cataract surgery. Routine ophthalmological evaluation including scans using macular analysis protocols of Cirrus HD OCT were done on the first visit to outpatient department and repeated on the day of surgery, one week and three weeks after surgery. The difference between the visits were analysed by Student’s t-test for paired samples.

Results: The best corrected visual acuity and signal strength of OCT scans improved significantly after surgery. Among the macular parameters the temporal inner, nasal inner and nasal outer area thicknesses showed significant improvement from preoperative to postoperative values. The foveal thickness, nasal inner and nasal outer thicknesses changed significantly between two postoperative visits.

Conclusions: The presence of cataract and small incision cataract surgery affects the macular measurements performed with Cirrus HD OCT. This should be taken into consideration while managing macular diseases like diabetic macular oedema.


Cataract, OCT, SICS and macular thickness

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