Retropupillary iris claw intraocular lens for aphakia


  • Competing/conflicts of interest: No stated conflict of interest.

  • Funding sources: No stated funding sources.

Associate Professor Graham A Lee, City Eye Centre Level 10, 135 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, Qld 4000, Australia. Email:


Background:  To assess outcomes of the iris claw intraocular lens implanted in the retropupillary position for correction of aphakia without adequate capsular support.

Design:  Retrospective study of patients consulted at two private practices and a tertiary public hospital clinic in Brisbane, Queensland.

Samples:  Thirty-two consecutive patients who underwent posterior chamber insertion of the iris claw intraocular lens alone or in combination with other procedure/s by the same consultant ophthalmologist (GL).

Methods:  Lens power was calculated using an A-constant of 117.0.

Main Outcome Measures:  Clinical examination.

Results:  Thirty-four eyes in 32 patients (23 male, 9 female) were included in the study. Indications for surgery were pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (n = 14), aphakia from previous lens extraction/lensectomy (n = 9), subluxation of intraocular lens (n = 7), cataract extraction (n = 2), explantation of anterior chamber intraocular lens due to uveitis (n = 1) and for Baerveldt tube insertion (n = 1). Follow-up duration ranged from 1 to 68 months. Of the 26 eyes followed for at least 6 months, the final vision improved in 69% (n = 18), remained unchanged in 8% (n = 2) and worsened in 23% (n = 6). Final visual acuity was 6/12 or better in 58% (n = 15). Complications included iris trauma/defect (n = 8), pupil irregularity/ovalization (n = 6), microhyphaema (n = 2) and lens decentration (n = 2).

Conclusion:  Implantation of the iris claw intraocular lens in the retropupillary position is a useful technique for correction of aphakic eyes with sufficient iris support, avoiding the corneal complications of an anterior chamber intraocular lens and the surgical challenge of a sutured posterior chamber intraocular lens.