Improved Refractive Outcomes of Small-Incision Extracapsular Cataract Surgery after Implementation of a Biometry Training Course

Jay J Meyer, Hans R Vellara, Riyaz Bhikoo, Lucilla Ah-Ching Sefo, Salome Lolokabaira, Neil L Murray, Charles Nj McGhee
Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology 2019, 26 (1): 17-22

PURPOSE: To determine whether a biometry training course could improve refractive outcomes of patients undergoing manual small-incision extracapsular cataract surgery (SICS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective, interventional, cohort study at the Pacific Eye Institute, Fiji. SICS refractive outcomes were evaluated before and after a structured biometry teaching course. Eyes that underwent evaluation and subsequent SICS with placement of a posterior chamber intraocular lens (IOL) were included. Axial length measurements were obtained using A-scan applanation ultrasound and keratometry with a handheld keratometer. Main outcome measures included mean absolute prediction error of IOL calculations, percentage of eyes within ±0.5 D and ±1.0 D of intended spherical equivalent, and proportion of eyes with ≥6/18 uncorrected visual acuity.

RESULTS: A total of 240 eyes were analyzed: 120 eyes before and 120 eyes after the structured biometry training. The mean absolute prediction error was 50% lower following the training (1.13 ± 0.84 D pre vs. 0.56 ± 0.44 D post; P < 0.001). A higher percentage of the eyes had a postoperative spherical equivalent within ±0.5 D (26.7% pre vs. 52.5% post; P < 0.001) and ±1.0 D (55.0% pre vs. 90.0% post; P < 0.001) of the intended target. A higher proportion of the eyes achieved ≥6/18 uncorrected visual acuity (77.5% pre vs. 91.7% post, P = 0.004), while the proportion with ≥6/18 corrected visual acuity was similar (94.4% pre vs. 98.3% post; P = 0.28).

CONCLUSIONS: A structured biometry training course may improve the accuracy of preoperative IOL calculations to achieve the postoperative refractive target. Ophthalmology training programs should include structured biometry teaching in their curricula.

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