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Corneal endothelial safety after ultraviolet light treatment of the light-adjustable intraocular lens

Alejandro Lichtinger, Christopher A Sandstedt, Karina Padilla, Daniel M Schwartz, Arturo S Chayet.


To assess the safety to the corneal endothelium of ultraviolet (UV) light treatment to a light-adjustable intraocular lens (IOL).


Codet Vision Institute, Tijuana, Mexico.


Cohort study.


The study evaluated consecutive patients scheduled for phacoemulsification cataract surgery with implantation of a light-adjustable IOL. Endothelial cell density (ECD), variation in the size of endothelial cells, and the percentage of hexagonal cells were determined centrally with a specular microscope preoperatively, 1 week postoperatively (before UV treatment), and 6 months postoperatively. Two adjustments and 2 lock-in procedures were performed with a light-delivery system between 2 weeks and 4 weeks postoperatively.


The study enrolled 10 patients. Specular microscopy showed a mean ECD of 2344 cells/mm(2) preoperatively. The mean overall central ECD was 2047 cells/mm(2) 1 week postoperatively and 2130 cells/mm(2) at 6 months, representing an endothelial cell loss of 12.6% and 9.1%, respectively, from preoperative values. There was no statistically significant difference in the coefficient of variation or percentage of hexagonal cells at either postoperative evaluation.


The endothelial cell loss at 6 months correlated well with previous reports of endothelial damage after phacoemulsification with IOL implantation. The light-adjustable IOL irradiation protocol for adjustment and lock-in procedures did not seem to add to the endothelial damage caused by the cataract surgery, indicating the protocol is safe to the corneal endothelium.