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Year : 1997  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 211-214

Evaluation of the role of syringing prior to cataract surgery

Schell Eye Hospital, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

Correspondence Address:
R Thomas
Schell Eye Hospital, Christian Medical College, Vellore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 9567015

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Patients for cataract surgery in India routinely undergo preoperative syringing to rule out chronic dacryocystitis. We determined the sensitivity and specificity of the clinical test of regurgitation on pressure over the lacrimal sac (ROPLAS) as a screening test for chronic dacryocystitis and compared it to syringing. 621 consecutive outpatients who needed syringing for various reasons (including 318 who had routine syringing prior to cataract surgery) were examined in a masked manner for regurgitation on pressure over the lacrimal sac. They then underwent syringing by a trained (masked) observer. The sensitivity and specificity of ROPLAS were 93.2% and 99.3%, respectively. Using a 6.6% prevalence of chronic dacryocystitis (the prevalence in our cataract population), the negative predictive value of the test was 99.5%. In the presence of regurgitation of pressure over the sac, the high specificity of ROPLAS confirms chronic dacryocystitis. In view of the opportunity costs, when ROPLAS is negative, preoperative syringing in cataract is perhaps unnecessary, unless the findings are equivocal or the index of suspicion for chronic dacryocystitis is very high.

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