Wet AMD is major factor limiting visual improvement after cataract surgery, but studies show that those with pre-existing AMD still benefit from the procedure. A new study aimed to identify characteristics of patients requiring AMD treatment after cataract surgery in addition to any pre- and perioperative factors that may be associated with the need for treatment for wet AMD postoperatively.

The cohort study included data from Swedish Registries between 2010 and 2017. The researchers compared eyes that had undergone cataract surgery and were later treated for wet AMD with eyes not treated within the study period. They also analyzed characteristics such as age, gender, use of a blue light-blocking intraocular lens (IOL), pre-op visual acuity, ocular comorbidities, posterior capsule rupture, date of cataract surgery and date of AMD treatment initiation.

The researchers found that the only independent factor associated with postoperative wet AMD treatment in both groups was female sex. In eyes without preoperative AMD, older age was an independent factor. Blue light-blocking IOLs seemed to decrease the likelihood of developing wet AMD after cataract surgery, but this wasn’t statistically significant in eyes with preoperative AMD. The researchers noted that “if the use of a blue light-blocking IOL offers any protection from undergoing AMD after cataract surgery, such an effect must be very small.”

Westborg I, Albrecht S, Granstam E, et al. Treatment of age-related macular degeneration after cataract surgery: A study from the Swedish National Cataract and Macula Registers. Acta Ophthalmol. June 23, 2020. Presented at ESCRS Vienna. [Epub ahead of print].