Intraocular pressure (IOP) may show improvements following cataract surgery in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, but a recent study found these patients’ visual fields (VF) continue to decline.

This retrospective cohort study included consecutive open-angle glaucoma patients who had undergone cataract surgery, and investigators reviewed their VFs before and after the procedure. The study compared mean deviation rate (MD), visual field index rate, pointwise linear regression, pointwise rate of change and the glaucoma rate index pre- and post-surgery. The study included 134 eyes of 99 patients and median follow up was 6.5 years and 5.3 years prior to and after cataract surgery, respectively.

All IOP parameters significantly improved after cataract surgery, the study noted, although all VF indices showed an accelerated decay rate. Additionally, researchers reported worse baseline MD and postoperative peak IOP were significantly associated with the postoperative VF decay rate and change in the decay rate after cataract surgery.

“Although all IOP parameters improved after cataract surgery, VFs continued to progress. Cataract surgery does not slow the apparent rate of glaucomatous VF decay as compared to rates measured during the progression of the cataract,” researchers said.

Kim JH, Rabiolo A, Morales E. Cataract surgery and rate of visual field progression in primary open-angle glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol. January 28, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].