Effect of Prior Anti-VEGF Injections on the Risk of Retained Lens Fragments and Endophthalmitis after Cataract Surgery in the Elderly.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To investigate the effect of prior intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections on surgical and postoperative complication rates associated with cataract surgery in a nationally representative longitudinal sample of elderly persons.


Retrospective, longitudinal cohort analysis.


A total of 203 643 Medicare beneficiaries who underwent cataract surgery from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2013.


By using the 5% sample of Medicare claims data, the study assessed risks of 3 adverse outcomes after receipt of cataract surgery for beneficiaries with a history of intravitreal injections. Risks of these outcomes in beneficiaries with a history of intravitreal injections relative to those without were calculated using the Cox proportional hazard model.

Main outcome measures

The primary outcome was the risk of subsequent removal of retained lens fragments (RLFs) within 28 days after cataract surgery. Secondary outcomes were a new diagnosis of acute (<40 days) or delayed-onset (40+ days) endophthalmitis and risk of a new primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) diagnosis within 365 days after cataract surgery.


Prior intravitreal anti-VEGF injections were associated with a significantly increased risk of subsequent RLF removal within 28 days after cataract surgery (hazard ratio [HR], 2.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-4.30). Prior injections were also associated with increased risk of both acute (HR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.001-5.22) and delayed-onset endophthalmitis (HR, 3.65; 95% CI, 1.65-8.05). Prior injections were not a significant indicator of increased risk of a new POAG diagnosis.


A history of intravitreal injections may be a risk factor for cataract surgery-related intraoperative complications and endophthalmitis. Given the frequency of intravitreal injections and cataract surgery, increased preoperative assessment, additional intraoperative caution, and postoperative vigilance are recommended in patients with a history of intravitreal injections undergoing cataract extraction.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hahn, P; Yashkin, AP; Sloan, FA

Published Date

  • February 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 123 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 309 - 315

PubMed ID

  • 26278863

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26278863

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1549-4713

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0161-6420

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.06.040


  • eng