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February 1994

Use of the Hydroxyapatite Ocular Implant in the Pediatric Population

Author Affiliations

From the Ocular Oncology Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(2):208-212. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090140084028

Objective:  There is always a hesitancy to use an ocular implant after enucleation in children, especially in cases of eyes enucleated for retinoblastoma.

Design and Setting:  In this prospective study, we report our experience of 60 consecutive cases in which we used the hydroxyapatite ocular implant after enucleation in children younger than age 10 years.

Results:  The mean age at the time of enucleation and hydroxyapatite placement was 27 months (range, 1 to 108 months). The histopathologic diagnoses after enucleation included retinoblastoma in 51 patients, endophthalmitis in two patients, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous in two patients, neovascular glaucoma resulting from Coats' disease in one patient, uveal melanoma in two patients, undifferentiated intraocular neoplasm in one patient, and blind painful traumatized eye in one patient. After a mean follow-up of 19 months (range, 6 to 36 months), two cases of conjunctival erosion and five cases of conjunctival thinning were recorded. These problems were associated with a flat posterior prosthesis vault in all seven cases. There were no cases of orbital cellulitis, implant extrusion, or implant migration. All children showed good small-degree prosthesis motility despite the lack of peg placement. Only one older child underwent drilling and peg placement and she had excellent small- and large-degree prosthesis motility. We generally postpone the drilling and peg placement stage and tedious prosthesis revision in children until they are able to fully cooperate with the ocularist.

Conclusions:  The hydroxyapatite ocular implant is well tolerated and provides good prosthesis motility in children with few complications. It is critical for the ocularist to fit the prosthesis comfortably with a high posterior vault.

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