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May 1989

The 50-Year Epidemic of Pseudophakic Corneal Edema

Author Affiliations

Atlanta, Ga

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(5):657-659. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010675025

The development of safe, effective intraocular lenses to eliminate the optical scourge of aphakia is one of the jewels in the diadem of modern ophthalmology. But an epidemic of pseudophakic corneal edema has plagued this triumph, striking some 5% to 10% of patients with cataract who have received certain styles of intraocular lenses.1 Even though the number of new cases is receding, the toll of the epidemic, which began around 1950, will extend into the next century.

See also p 660.

ORIGINS OF THE EPIDEMIC  The development of the intraocular lens has involved surgical techniques and lens designs that damaged the corneal endothelium, either acutely during surgery or chronically during the years thereafter, producing pseudophakic corneal edema. (I prefer the term pseudophakic corneal edema to its jargon cousin pseudophakic bullous keratopathy because most of these corneas have only edema, not bullae.)The litany of flawed lens designs and inadequate

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