, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 62-66
Date: 18 Feb 2011

Decreased visual function due to high-level light scattering in a hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lens

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To investigate the effects of light scattering from the surface of hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lenses (IOLs) on visual function.


A 67-year-old man was implanted with an IOL (MA60BM) in January 1998, but became aware of decreased visual function in May 2008. Observation with a slit lamp revealed light scattering throughout the entire optic of the IOL, which was extracted and replaced. Postoperative visual function improved at 1 month. The cause of light scattering was investigated with a focus on water permeating the IOL material. To confirm the effect of light scattering on visual function, light transmission of the extracted IOL was measured in physiological saline at 33°C, and the simulated retinal image was evaluated in a model eye.


Observation of the extracted IOL showed light scattering from the optic surface layer, the main cause of which was phase-separated water within the IOL material. Light transmission in the extracted IOL was 16.3% lower than that in an unused IOL in the visible range. Moreover, the simulated retinal image was hazy compared to that of the unused IOL.


Severe surface light scattering from an IOL optic may decrease visual function.

Presented in part at the LXIII Annual Congress of Japan Clinical Ophthalmology, Fukuoka, Japan, October 2009