Glistenings on Intraocular Lenses in Healthy Eyes: Effects and Associations

Joseph Colin, MD; Isabelle Orignac, MD


PURPOSE: To assess glistenings in AcrySof (Alcon Laboratories Inc) intraocular lenses (IOLs), to quantify any effects of glistenings on the visual function of patients with healthy eyes, and to investigate whether glistenings were associated with demographic or lens characteristics.

METHODS: Case files from a consecutive series of healthy eyes were retrospectively analyzed. Subjective glistening grades were investigated for associations with the following parameters: contrast sensitivity, corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), intraocular light scattering (measured by C-Quant [Oculus Optikgeräte GmbH]), posterior capsule opacification, demographic characteristics, lens power, and duration of pseudophakia. The subjective grading method was compared to objective software-based quantitation of glistenings.

RESULTS: The study cohort included 97 eyes from 65 patients with a mean age of 65±11 years. Mean follow-up was 18±17 months. Glistening grades did not vary by duration of pseudophakia ( P=.19), although study design limited confidence in this result. Glistening grades had no associations with lens power ( P=.41), intraocular light scattering ( P=.31), logMAR CDVA ( P=.64), contrast sensitivity at any spatial frequency (all P>.22), or with any other parameter under investigation. The software-based assessment confirmed the validity of the subjective grading method: glistening grades correlated with vacuoles/mm 2 ( P<.0001) and mean values for vacuoles/mm 2 were statistically significant for each glistening grade (all P<.004).

CONCLUSIONS: In healthy eyes, glistening grade was not associated with contrast sensitivity, CDVA, intraocular light scatter, or any lens or demographic characteristics that were investigated.

From Service d’Ophtalmologie, Hôpital Pellegrin, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Bordeaux, France.

This study was supported by Alcon Research Ltd, which provided a research grant for assistance with data analysis and manuscript preparation.

The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the materials presented herein.


Study concept and design (J.C.); data collection (I.O.); analysis and interpretation of data (I.O.); drafting of the manuscript (J.C., I.O.); critical revision of the manuscript (J.C.); obtained funding (J.C.); administrative, technical, or material support (J.C.); supervision (J.C.)

Correspondence: Joseph Colin, MD, Service d’Ophtalmologie, Hôpital Pellegrin, CHU de Bordeaux, Place Amélie Raba Léon, 33 000 Bordeaux, France. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: November 23, 2010

Accepted: June 21, 2011

Posted Online: July 29, 2011