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This retrospective population-based cohort study assessed whether there was an increased incidence of anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (AION) post cataract surgery compared to patients that had not had cataract surgery. They reviewed the notes of all patients diagnosed with AION between January 1990 and December 2016. They then looked at the incidence of AION within two months and within one year of cataract surgery in the same eye. They found that 102 patients had developed AION during that time period and 20 (19.6%) of those patients had had previous cataract surgery. Two patients developed AION within two months of cataract surgery and nine within one year. They found that the incidence of AION within two months of surgery was very similar to the sporadic incidence. The incidence within one year of AION however, was significantly higher (38.9 per 100,000) compared to the sporadic incidence (6.5 per 100,000). This study found that there was no increased risk of AION within the first two months after cataract surgery. However, there was an increased risk within one year. There were no cases in the immediate (days to weeks) postoperative period and most of the cases occurred two to six months post-surgery. This study’s limitations were that it was retrospective and therefore there may be inaccuracies in documentation and patients not identified. In addition, as only small numbers were used in the study it has been difficult to perform subgroup analysis to adjust for confounding factors such as age. However, similar results have been reported by several other studies.

A population-based study of anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy following cataract surgery.
Mansukhani S, Chen J, Fairbanks A, et al.
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Tasmin Berman

University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

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