PURPOSE: Intravitreal injections and cataract surgery are two common procedures in the elderly. Posterior capsular rupture (PCR) is a rare but important complication of cataract surgery. We systematically reviewed the literature on previous intravitreal injections as a risk factor of PCR and performed meta-analyses to provide pooled summary risk estimates.
METHODS: We searched 13 literature databases on 1 June 2021 for studies evaluating the risk of PCR in eyes undergoing cataract surgery with data on previous intravitreal injections. Data extraction was made independently by two authors and discussed afterwards until reaching consensus. Random effects meta-analyses on the pooled odds ratio (OR) of PCR in eyes with previous intravitreal injections were made using MetaXL 5.3.
RESULTS: Six studies on 1 051 097 eyes undergoing cataract surgery were eligible for the qualitative and quantitative review. Previous history of intravitreal injections was present in 7034 eyes (majority was anti-VEGF). Our meta-analyses revealed that any previous intravitreal injection was a risk factor for PCR with an OR of 2.30 (95% CI 1.39-3.81). For each previous intravitreal injection, the risk of PCR was OR 1.04 (95% CI 1.01-1.08) (equivalent of relative risk ~1.04). In other words, risk of PCR increases by 4% for each previous intravitreal injection.
CONCLUSIONS: Previous intravitreal injection is a risk factor for PCR and should be taken into account when planning cataract surgery. However, to be regarded as a clinically significant risk of PCR, a substantial number of previous intravitreal injection (e.g. ≥10) should have been administered, considering that the a priori risk of PCR is very low (~1%).