Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO) is the most common complication of cataract surgery. At present the only means of treating cataract is by surgical intervention, and this initially restores high visual quality. Unfortunately, PCO develops in a significant proportion of patients to such an extent that a secondary loss of vision occurs. A modern cataract operation generates a capsular bag, which comprises a proportion of the anterior and the entire posterior capsule. The bag remains in situ, partitions the aqueous and vitreous humours, and in the majority of cases, houses an intraocular lens. The production of a capsular bag following surgery permits a free passage of light along the visual axis through the transparent intraocular lens and thin acellular posterior capsule. However, on the remaining anterior capsule, lens epithelial cells stubbornly reside despite enduring the rigours of surgical trauma. This resilient group of cells then begin to re-colonise the denuded regions of the anterior capsule, encroach onto the intraocular lens surface, occupy regions of the outer anterior capsule and most importantly of all begin to colonise the previously cell-free posterior capsule. Cells continue to divide, begin to cover the posterior capsule and can ultimately encroach on the visual axis resulting in changes to the matrix and cell organization that can give rise to light scatter. This review will describe the biological mechanisms driving PCO progression and discuss the influence of IOL design, surgical techniques and putative drug therapies in regulating the rate and severity of PCO.
- posterior capsule opacification
- wound healing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience