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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 1891-1893

Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in Alport's syndrome - A case report

Department of Cataract Services, Aravind Eye Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Pondicherry, India

Date of Submission23-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance26-Jun-2019
Date of Web Publication22-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Manas Nath
Aravind Eye Hospital, Thavalakuppam, Pondicherry - 605 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_586_19

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Alport's syndrome with anterior lenticonus poses significant challenges during capsulorhexis with high chances of peripheral extension. We report a case of 23-year-old lady with Alport's syndrome with anterior lenticonus in the left eye that underwent successful femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS). The anterior lenticonus was eccentric nasally; hence, the FLACS capsulotomy was positioned slightly nasally so that the capsulotomy margin was outside the cone base. The distance vision improved from 6/24 to 6/6 at one-month follow-up. In summary, FLACS improved the safety of cataract surgery in an eye with anterior lenticonus and yielded excellent visual outcomes.

Keywords: Anterior lenticonus, cataract surgery, femtosecond laser

How to cite this article:
Nath M, Gireesh P. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in Alport's syndrome - A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:1891-3

How to cite this URL:
Nath M, Gireesh P. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in Alport's syndrome - A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Sep 24];67:1891-3. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2019/67/11/1891/269636

Alport's syndrome is a multisystemic disease characterized by progressive renal dysfunction, sensorineural hearing loss, and ophthalmic manifestations including anterior and posterior lenticonus, early cataract, and crystalline deposits in the retina.[1],[2] Anterior lenticonus poses a significant challenge during capsulorhexis with high chances of peripheral rhexis extension. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) is an excellent tool to perform a precise and round capsulorhexis,[3],[4] especially in difficult cases where chances of rhexis extension are high. We report a case of anterior lenticonus with clear lens in a patient with Alport's syndrome, which was successfully operated using FLACS.

  Case Report Top

A 23-year-old lady, a known case of Alport's syndrome with renal dysfunction and hearing loss since childhood, presented to us with gradually progressive diminution of vision in both eyes for two years. Three out of five siblings including her had Alport's syndrome with the other two siblings having passed away in their third decades due to renal failure. Her best corrected distance visual acuity was 6/12 in the right eye and 6/24 in the left eye. Slit lamp biomicroscopy revealed anterior subcapsular cataract in the right eye [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b and anterior lenticonus in the left eye [Figure 1c and d]. The remaining ophthalmic evaluation including a dilated fundus examination was essentially normal. Significant higher order aberrations attributable to the crystalline lens were recorded preoperatively using the iTrace aberrometry system in the left eye [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. Routine preoperative workup revealed a high blood urea (50 mg%) and marginally elevated serum creatinine levels (1.19 mg%) and urine analysis showed protein traces and 5–10 RBCs/HPF. Biometry using the IOL Master 700 (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, CA, USA) revealed an axial length of 22.85 mm and steep K reading of 45.8D @ 132° and flat K of 45.51 D @ 42° in the left eye.
Figure 1: Slit lamp images. (a) Right eye: Anterior subcapsular cataract (arrow); diffuse illumination. (b) Right eye: Anterior subcapsular cataract (arrow); optical section. (c) Left eye: Anterior lenticonus (arrow); optical section. (d) Left eye: Anterior lenticonus showing oil drop appearance (arrow) in retroillumination

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Figure 2: iTrace aberrometry. (a) Left eye (Pre-op): Aberrometry showing increased higher order aberration arising from internal optics (arrow). (b) Left eye (Pre-op): Blurred E-chart arising from internal optics (arrow). (c) Left eye (Post-op): Showing reduced higher order aberration from internal optics (arrow). (d) Left eye (Post-op): Normal E-chart arising internal optics (arrow)

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Patient was taken up for FLACS in the left eye after obtaining an informed consent. The lenticonus was confirmed using the anterior segment optical coherence tomography (ASOCT) [Figure 3] provided by the LenSx© laser system (Alcon Laboratories) and the SoftFit™interface (Alcon Laboratories) was used for docking under topical anesthesia. The anterior lenticonus was eccentric nasally; hence, the FLACS capsulotomy was positioned slightly nasally so that the capsulotomy margin was outside the cone base. A capsulotomy diameter of 4.9 mm was created using the femtosecond laser using an energy setting of 7 μJ, tangential spot separation of 4 μ, and layer separation of 3 μ. Lens fragmentation was not performed in view of a clear lens. A primary 3 planner incision of 2.8 mm was fashioned along with two arcuate incisions at 113° and 293° using the same femtosecond laser energy settings. During phacoemulsification, a free-floating lens capsule [Figure 4]a was seen and clear lens extraction was performed uneventfully using the Centurion system (Alcon Laboratories) followed by implantation of a single-piece hydrophobic intraocular lens (Acrisof SA60AT) in the bag. Postoperative uncorrected vision was 20/20 at one-month follow-up with reduced higher order aberrations [Figure 2c and d] and a well-centered intraocular lens [Figure 4]b.
Figure 3: LenSx ASOCT showing anterior lenticonus (arrow)

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Figure 4: Intraoperative and postoperative images. (a) Free floating lens capsule (arrow) noted intraoperatively. (b) Single-piece IOL (intraocular lens) in the bag at one month postoperative day

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  Discussion Top

We performed FLACS in this case due to the large and eccentric anterior lenticonus that would have posed serious challenges during manual capsulorhexis with a possible peripheral run out. FLACS has been shown to be equally efficacious compared to phacoemulsification alone in large clinical trials; however, its cost effectiveness has been questioned.[3] FLACS also has a higher learning curve, especially for non-LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgeons not used to the femtoplatform.[5],[6] However, in tough situations such as lenticonus, it definitely improves surgical safety with more predictable outcomes as seen with our case. Previously, FLACS in anterior lenticonus has been reported only twice.[7],[8] The magnitude of lenticonus in our patient appears to be far larger than those of the previous cases. The eccentricity of the Conus was also a unique feature of our case that added to the surgical challenge. Finally, our patient had appreciable lenticonus in only one eye whereas most reports on Alport's syndrome report bilateral symmetrical lenticonus.[2] Additionally, the family history along with lenticonus suggests autosomal recessive inheritance, though we were unable to carry out appropriate genetic testing.[2]

In conclusion, we believe that FLACS improves the surgical safety and leads to better outcomes while performing cataract surgery in eyes with anterior lenticonus and should be considered as first line of management if economic constraints permit.

Authors contribution

All authors have contributed equally in all aspects of data collection and manuscript writing. The paper was presented as E-poster in the AIOC 2019 but has never been submitted to another journal before.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Miner JH, Baigent C, Flinter F, Gross O, Judge P, Kashtan CE, et al. The 2014 international workshop on Alport syndrome. Kidney Int 2014;86:679-84.  Back to cited text no. 1
Savige J, Sheth S, Leys A, Nicholson A, Mack HG, Colville D. Ocular features in Alport syndrome: Pathogenesis and clinical significance. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2015;10:703-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Ewe SY, Abell RG, Vote BJ. Femtosecond laser-assisted versus phacoemulsification for cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation: Clinical outcomes review. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2018;29:54-60.  Back to cited text no. 3
Grewal DS, Schultz T, Basti S, Dick HB. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery--current status and future directions. Surv Ophthalmol 2016;61:103-31.  Back to cited text no. 4
Christy JS, Nath M, Mouttapa F, Venkatesh R. Learning curve of femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery: Experience of surgeons new to femtosecond laser platform. Indian J Ophthalmol 2017;65:683-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Cohen MN, Intili A, Ni N, Blecher MH. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in residency training. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2015;26:56-60.  Back to cited text no. 6
Barnes AC, Roth AS. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in anterior lenticonus due to Alport syndrome. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2017;6:64-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
Ecsedy M, Súndor GL, Takúcs ÚI, Krúnitz K, Kiss Z, Kolev K, et al. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in Alport syndrome with anterior lenticonus. Eur J Ophthalmol 2015;25:507-11.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]


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