OBJECTIVES: To report the myopic shift in the aphakic eyes of a cohort of children who underwent unilateral cataract surgery during infancy and were then followed longitudinally for 10.5 years. METHODS: One-half of the children enrolled in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) were randomized to aphakia and contact lens correction after unilateral cataract surgery. They then underwent ocular examinations using standardized protocols at prescribed time intervals until age 10.5 years. RESULTS: Thirty of 57 children randomized to aphakia remained aphakic at age 10.5, having undergone unilateral cataract surgery at a median age of 1.6 (IQR: 1.1-3.1) months. The median refractive error (RE) in the 57 eyes randomized to aphakia immediately after cataract surgery was 19.01 D (IQR: 16.98-20.49) compared to 10.38 D (IQR: 7.50-14.00) for the 30 eyes that remained aphakic at age 10.5 years. The mean change in RE in aphakic eyes was -2.11 D/year up to age 1.5 years, -0.68 D/year from 1.5 to 5.0 years, and -0.35 D/year from age 5 to 10.5 years. At age 10.5 years, 18 patients continued to wear a contact lens correction (silicone elastomer, n=6; gas permeable, n=6; hydrogel, n=5; and silicone hydrogel, n=1) (median RE, 12.50 D), 9 wore only spectacles (median RE, 4.00 D), and 4 wore no correction (median RE, 11.25 D) to correct their aphakic eye. CONCLUSIONS: The RE in aphakic eyes decreased by 44% from infancy to age 10.5 years. About two-thirds of children who remained aphakic at age 10.5 years continued to wear a contact lens.
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