The incidence of both congenital and acquired cataracts is somewhat higher in children with Down syndrome, than in typically developing children. An Irish study published online today examines 25 years of successfully treating cataracts in children with Down syndrome at The Children's University Hospital in Dublin. The report's conclusion reads:
As there is a higher rate of congenital and developmental cataract in Down syndrome when compared with the general population, management of visually significant cataract is of prime importance in this group.
Patients with Down syndrome are also considered ideally suited to IOL [intraocular lens] implantation because of difficulties with contact lenses or spectacle wear.
This study has shown that cataract extraction with or without IOL implantation is an effective and worthwhile procedure with a good visual outcome. The large myopic shift in this cohort of patients has previously been described and must be taken into account when planning surgery.
Gardiner, C, Lanigan, B, O’Keefe, M, Postcataract surgery outcome in a series of infants and children with Down syndrome, British Journal of Ophthalmology 2008; 92:1112-1116
Click here to read the full text of the report, on the British Medical Journal group's website, or you can download a free .pdf copy.