Cataract and Ocular Hypertension in Children on Inhaled Corticosteroid Therapy

Behbehani, Abdulmutalib H.; Owayed, Abdulla F.; Hijazi, Zeinat M.; Eslah, Esmail A.; Al-Jazzaf, Adel M.
January 2005
Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus;Jan/Feb2005, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p23
Academic Journal
Purpose: To ascertain the incidence of posterior subcapsular cataract and ocular hypertension in a cohort of children ≤ 12 years on inhaled steroid therapy. Patients and Methods: In this prospective study, a detailed history regarding corticosteroid therapy was obtained for children attending an asthma clinic. The presence and type of lens changes (cataract) was recorded and intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured. The children underwent another eye examination 2 years later. Results: Ninety-five patients were enrolled in the study. Mean patient age was 7±3 years, and mean duration of inhaled steroid therapy was 2±1 years. Thirty-six percent of patients received inhaled steroids exclusively, 61% received inhaled steroids with a short course of oral steroids, and 3% received inhaled steroids with a long course of oral steroids. Only 3 (3%) patients had cortical changes that were not visually significant, and none had posterior subcapsular or nuclear cataract. There was no significant differences between children with cataract and those without cataract with respect to age; duration of asthma; and duration, average daily dose, and cumulative dose of inhaled steroids. IOP ranged from 11 to 20 mm Hg (mean, 16±3 mm Hg). None of the children had ocular hypertension or glaucoma. Ninety patients underwent eye examination 2 years later; none was found to develop posterior subcapsular cataract or increased IOP. Conclusion: This study indicates the use of inhaled steroids in children with asthma is probably safe as far as not inducing posterior subcapsular cataract or ocular hypertension.


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