Before their patients go in for any surgeries, optometrist should have as complete a picture of their patient’s eye health as possible. This includes traumatic cataract patients, who first need to be evaluated for any posterior capsule (PC) defect. Traditionally, this is accomplished using ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM), but new research is suggesting that swept source OCT (SS-OCT) works just as well.1 That’s good news for patients, as UBM, while technically noninvasive, can be uncomfortable and requires the eye to be anesthetized.2

Researchers looked at 67 eyes from 67 patients—60 males and seven females, with a mean age of 34 (±14 years). All the patients had a traumatic cataract severe enough to prevent slit lamp evaluation of the PC. They were evaluated under both 50MHz UBM and SS-OCT before surgery. All underwent the same surgical technique.1

Evaluation of the patients showed the sensitivity (96.8%), specificity (66.7%) and accuracy (82%) values for SS-OCT. For UBM, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy values were 82.6%, 57.9% and 71.4% respectively. Positive predictive and negative predictive values for SS-OCT were 75% and 95.2%. For UBM, they were 70.4% and 73.3% respectively.1

Investigators say these numbers show that both imaging techniques are effective. SS-OCT is at least comparable, or superior in some ways, to UBM in detecting preoperative post-traumatic PC rupture. That team recommends preoperative assessment of all traumatic cataracts with SS-OCT as a part of surgical planning.1

1. Tabatabaei S, Soleimani M, Etesali H, Naderan M. Accuracy of swept source optical coherence tomography and ultrasound biomicroscopy for evaluation of posterior lens capsule in traumatic cataract. Am J Ophthalmol. April 2, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].

2. Wills Eye Hospital. Ultrasound. Accessed April 15, 2020.