Original Article|Articles in Press

Zonular dialysis and cataract surgery: results from a UK tertiary eye care referral centre

Published:January 07, 2023DOI:



      Zonular dialysis (ZD), referred to as the presence of a deficient zonular support for the lenticular capsule, might be the result of several causes and be detected only at the time of cataract surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate pre-, intra-, and postoperative features of eyes with ZD regardless of the etiology detected during cataract surgery.


      A single-centre retrospective observational cohort study was performed at Moorfields Eye Hospital (NHS Foundation Trust, London, U.K.) to identify patients who underwent cataract surgery whose procedure was intraoperatively described as being complicated by ZD between January 1, 2014, and August 22, 2019. Patient characteristics, intraoperative clinical findings, visual and refractive outcomes, and postoperative complications were recorded.


      ZD was identified intraoperatively in 447 eyes. In most cases (213 of 223; 96.8%), patients underwent a phacoemulsification procedure, not requiring any conversion to intracapsular or extracapsular extraction technique. Intraoperative complications increased to 46.2% (103 of 223), with no significant correlation with ZD width. Capsular tension rings (CTRs) were implanted in 43.4% of patients (97 of 223). The use of CTRs correlated with better postoperative visual and refractive outcomes.


      ZD is a serious complication of cataract surgery requiring prompt intraoperative diagnosis and proper management. While it tends to worsen cataract surgery outcomes, the implantation of CTRs during the surgical procedure seems to be associated with better postoperative visual and refractive results.
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