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Miami Children's Hospital Physician to Participate in National Study of Treatments for Infants with Cataracts
(11/17/2004)



Stacey J. Kruger, MD, of the Miami Children’s Hospital Department of Ophthalmology, has been selected to join a prestigious group of physicians participating in a National Institutes of Health-funded study to determine the optimal means of correcting the vision of infants who have undergone cataract surgery.

Thirteen centers nationwide are participating in the study, which will compare lens implants (intraocular lenses) and contact lenses as a means of correcting the vision of children under age 7 months who have had a cataract removed from one eye.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, which prevents light rays from being focused on the retina. A cataract in an infant can cause poor vision resulting from amblyopia, which is commonly referred to as “lazy” eye.

“While the visual system is developing, the brain must receive clear images from both eyes. If this does not happen, the part of the brain that controls vision will not develop properly. For this reason, when a cataract develops during infancy, surgery must be performed as soon as vision is threatened,” said Dr. Kruger.

Following surgery, children require a substitute lens to replace the defective natural one that was removed. One option is the implantation of an intraocular lens. Another possibility is use of a contact lens.

In the study, children will be randomly assigned to receive either the intraocular lens or a contact lens. The effectiveness of the two treatments will be measured over time based on visual acuity as the infants mature, the frequency of complications, the need for subsequent surgeries and parental stress.

Emory Eye Center in Atlanta is the lead investigative entity for the study. Other participating facilities besides MCH include: Baylor University, Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, Indiana University, Medical University of South Carolina, Oregon Health & Science University, Texas Children’s Hospital, University of Minnesota and Vanderbilt University.

For more information regarding the study, please call Dr. Kruger at 305-662-8390.