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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686


EVANS, J.R. et al. Randomized controlled trial of anterior-chamber intraocular lenses in Nepal: long-term follow-up. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2000, vol.78, n.3, pp.372-378. ISSN 0042-9686.

Most of the estimated 20 million people who are blind with cataracts live in rural areas of developing countries, where expert surgical resources are scarce. We have studied the use of multiflex open-loop anterior-chamber intraocular lenses (ACIOL) in high-volume low-cost surgery. Between 1992 and 1995, a total of 2000 people attending Lahan Eye Hospital, Nepal, with bilateral cataracts reducing vision to < 6/36 were randomly allocated to receive intracapsular extraction (ICCE) with aphakic spectacles, or ICCE with an ACIOL. We re-examined the cohort (1305/2000, 65%) between November 1996 and April 1997 and report the findings in this article. There were 13 new cases of poor visual outcome (best corrected vision <6/60) arising after one year: 9 in the ACIOL group and 4 in the control group; odds ratio 2.1 (95% confidence interval, 0.59-9.55). The causes of poor outcome were as follows: ACIOL group - retinal detachment (4 cases), cystoid macular oedema (2), epiretinal membrane (1), age-related macular degeneration (1), and late endophthalmitis (1); control group - retinal detachment (2 cases), late endophthalmitis (1), and primary open-angle glaucoma with age-related macular degeneration (1). In rural areas of developing countries, well-manufactured multiflex open-loop ACIOLs can be implanted safely by experienced ophthalmologists after routine ICCE, avoiding the disadvantages of aphakic spectacle correction.

Keywords : lenses [intraocular]; cataract extraction; treatment outcome; vision [low]; randomized controlled trials; Nepal.

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