Elschnig pearl formation along the neodymium: YAG laser posterior capsulotomy margin - Long-term follow-up

Daijiro Kurosaka, Katsuhiko Kato, Hiroyo Kurosaka, Mami Yoshino, Kunihiko Nakamura, Kazuno Negishi

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To examine the long-term occurrence and course of Elschnig pearl (string of pearls) formation along neodymium:YAG (Nd:YAG) laser posterior capsulotomy margins. Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. Methods: The clinical records of eyes having an Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy to treat posterior capsule opacification after cataract surgery were retrospectively reviewed. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards analysis were performed. Results: Among 201 eyes, string of pearls developed in 139 (69.2%). The mean follow-up after the Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy was 32.1 months ± 25.3 (SD)(SID). At 2 years, the cumulative probability of developing string of pearls was 77.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 70.6%-83.4%), after which it reached a plateau. Among the 139 eyes, 100 had sufficient data to be reviewed to assess the long-term outcome (mean follow-up from Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy, 43.7 ± 26.0 months). A second Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy was performed in 18 eyes (18.0%) to treat progression of string of pearls, typically within 2 years after the initial Nd:YAG capsulotomy. The string of pearls disappeared spontaneously in 31 eyes (31.0%). The probability of disappearance was 80.4% (95% CI, 63.4%-97.4%) 8 years after the Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy. Cox proportional hazards analysis identified no factor significantly favoring the disappearance of the string of pearls. Conclusions: String of pearls was a common complication after Nd:YAG laser posterior capsulotomy. About 20% of cases were progressive and required a second capsulotomy; however, most regressed over several years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1809-1813
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Oct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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