Purpose To investigate the factors affecting visual acuity after cataract surgery in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Design Retrospective, observational study. Participants We retrospectively reviewed the charts of a consecutive series of 40 patients with RP who underwent cataract surgery. Methods The changes in preoperative and postoperative best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were measured. We investigated the relation between preoperative mean deviation (MD) value on the Humphrey Field Analyzer (HFA: the central 10-2 program; Humphrey Instruments, Inc, San Leandro, CA) and final BCVA. We also investigated the relationship between preoperative ellipsoid zone (EZ; also called the inner/outer segment junction) conditions and final BCVA. In addition, we showed the prevalence of macular complications and capsule complications. Main Outcome Measures The BCVA, slit-lamp biomicroscopic analysis, visual field, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were obtained. Results The mean of the BCVA significantly improved after cataract surgery from 0.76 (range, -0.08 to 2.30) to 0.45 (range, -0.18 to 2.00) (P < 0.005). However, final BCVA did not improve in 30 eyes (53.6%). The preoperative MD value and the final BCVA were significantly correlated, and the final BCVA significantly improved in the less advanced RP group (MD was >-15 decibels [dB]). The final BCVA was significantly better in the group in which preoperative OCT showed a normal EZ than in the groups in which the EZ was abnormal or not visible. Posterior capsular opacification was observed in 47 eyes (83.9%), and 23 eyes (41.1%) underwent YAG laser capsulotomy within a mean follow-up time of 3 years. Conclusions Final BCVA in approximately half of the eyes improved after cataract surgery in patients with RP. The preoperative ophthalmic examinations that may reflect macular (or foveal) function, such as HFA 10-2 program and OCT, are important parameters to assess postoperative visual outcome.
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