J Korean Ophthalmol Soc.  2012 Feb;53(2):246-255.

Changes in Macular Thickness after Cataract Surgery According to Optical Coherence Tomography

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Kosin University, Busan, Korea. hhiatus@daum.net


To compare the changes in central subfield macular thickness (CSMT) using optical coherence tomography (OCT) after cataract surgery and to evaluate the risk factors of macular edema.
The retrospective study consisted of 55 eyes of 50 patients who underwent phacoemulsification. All of these eyes were assessed by OCT and best-corrected visual acuity, and fundus examination before and one month after surgery. CSMT was measured based on a central thickness of 1 mm, and macular edema was defined as an increase of CSMT in 30% or more after surgery than before.
CSMT significantly increased by 22.2 +/- 47.10 microm at 1 month after cataract surgery in the operated eye compared with the fellow eye (p = 0.01). The diabetic retinopathy group and hypertensive group showed more significant increases than the non-diabetic and non-hypertensive group. Macular edema developed in seven of 55 eyes (12.7%), and they consisted of five moderate or more severe diabetic retinopathies and two epiretinal membrane. Four weeks after surgery, the macular edema group showed more decrease in visual acuity; however, the CSMT was not correlated with the duration of diabetes mellitus, types of surgical incision, HbA1c or other factors.
CSMT increased in the operated eye after cataract surgery, especially in eyes with diabetic retinopathy and hypertension. Moderate or more severe diabetic retinopathy and macular lesions such as epiretinal membrane increased the risk of macular edema after cataract surgery.


Cataract extraction; Macular thickness; Optical coherence tomography

MeSH Terms

Cataract Extraction
Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetic Retinopathy
Epiretinal Membrane
Macular Edema
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Tomography, Optical Coherence
Visual Acuity


  • Figure 1 (A) Preoperative fundus photograph shows severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and hard exudates near macula. OCT image shows normal foveal contour. (B) Postoperative fundus photograph and OCT image shows significant macular edema.

  • Figure 2 (A) Preoperative fundus photograph shows epiretinal membreane. (B) Postoperative OCT image shows epiretinal membrane and significant macular edema.


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