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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 521-529

Paediatric cataracts in a tertiary eye centre in South-South Nigeria: An initial audit of surgical outcome

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Calabar Children's Eye Centre, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ernest Ikechukwu Ezeh
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_40_22

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Background: Paediatric cataracts is a leading cause of treatable blindness and a major cause of blindness in developing nations. Aim: To present an audit of paediatric cataract and paediatric cataract surgery in a Tertiary Eye Care facility in the South-South Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria during the Seeing is Believing Project intervention. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of case notes of children who received surgical and adjunctive treatment for cataracts in the Calabar Children's Eye Centre during the 24-month study period from November 1, 2017, to October 31, 2019, was undertaken. Results: Of the 128 children who met the inclusion criteria, 73 (57.0%) were males and 55 (43.0%) were females, giving a male: female ratio of 1.3:1.0. The mean age of patients in years was 5.9 ± 4.1 years, median/interquartile range was 5.0/5. The most frequent diagnosis was bilateral cataracts affecting 80 (62.5%) children. Systemic comorbidities were found in 13/128 (10.2%), of which 7/13 (53.8%) were congenital rubella syndrome. Ocular comorbidities (40.6%) were more common than systemic comorbidities, and sensory esotropia presented most frequently (16.4%). More patients with congenital cataracts had ocular comorbidities, and this association was statistically significant, P < 0.001. The proportion of patients with good visual outcomes was highest among those with bilateral cataracts (64.8%), and ocular comorbidities were a significant negative predictor of best corrected postoperative visual acuity. A total of 94/128 (73.4%) patients received intraocular lens implants, and the most common postoperative complications were visual axis opacification (VAO) 37/69 (53.6%) and fibrinous uveitis 26/69 (37.7). Conclusion: Paediatric cataracts were often bilateral and congenital. Postoperative complications like VAO are common and can be detected early and treated to improve visual outcomes with good follow-up strategies.

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