Pediatric Cataracts: A Retrospective Study of 12 Years (2004 - 2016)

Jorge Moreira, Isabel Ribeiro, Ágata Mota, Rita Gonçalves, Pedro Coelho, Tiago Maio, Paula Tenedório


Introduction: Cataracts are a major cause of preventable childhood blindness. Visual prognosis of these patients depends on a prompt therapeutic approach. Understanding pediatric cataracts epidemiology is of great importance for the implementation of programs of primary prevention and early diagnosis.
Material and Methods: We reviewed the clinical cases of pediatric cataracts diagnosed in the last 12 years at Hospital Pedro Hispano, in Porto.
Results: We identified 42 cases of pediatric cataracts with an equal gender distribution. The mean age at diagnosis was 6 years and 64.3% of patients had bilateral disease. Decreased visual acuity was the commonest presenting sign (36.8%) followed by leucocoria (26.3%). The etiology was unknown in 59.5% of cases and there was a slight predominance of nuclear type cataract (32.5%). Cataract was associated with systemic diseases in 23.8% of cases and with ocular abnormalities in 33.3% of cases. 47.6% of patients were treated surgically. Postoperative complications occurred in 35% of cases and posterior capsular opacification was the most common (25%).
Discussion: The report of 42 cases is probably the result of the low prevalence of cataracts in this age. Although the limitations of our study include small sample size, the profile of children with cataracts in our hospital has characteristics relatively similar to those described in the literature.
Conclusion: Given the high proportion of idiopathic pediatric cataracts, prevention of the disease remains a challenge worldwide.


Adolescent; Cataract/epidemiology; Cataract/etiology; Cataract Extraction; Child

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