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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Prophylactic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the prevention of macular oedema after cataract surgery

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (92nd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (78th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
1 blog
1 policy source
17 tweeters
4 Facebook pages
5 Wikipedia pages


55 Dimensions

Readers on

190 Mendeley
Prophylactic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the prevention of macular oedema after cataract surgery
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006683.pub3
Pubmed ID

Blanche X Lim, Chris HL Lim, Dawn K Lim, Jennifer R Evans, Catey Bunce, Richard Wormald


Macular oedema (MO) is the accumulation of extracellular fluid in the central retina (the macula). It may occur after cataract surgery and may give rise to poor visual outcome, with reduced visual acuity and distortion of the central vision. MO is often self-limiting with spontaneous resolution, but a small proportion of people with chronic persistent MO may be difficult to treat. Chronic oedema may lead to the formation of cystic spaces in the retina termed 'cystoid macular oedema' (CMO). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used in cataract surgery and may reduce the chances of developing MO. The aim of this review is to answer the question: is there evidence to support the prophylactic use of topical NSAIDs either in addition to, or instead of, topical steroids postoperatively to reduce the incidence of macular oedema (MO) and associated visual morbidity. We searched a number of electronic databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE and Embase. Date last searched 2 September 2016. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which adult participants had undergone surgery for age-related cataract. We included participants irrespective of their baseline risk of MO, in particular we included people with diabetes and uveitis. We included trials of preoperative and/or postoperative topical NSAIDs in conjunction with postoperative topical steroids. The comparator was postoperative topical steroids alone. A secondary comparison was preoperative and/or postoperative topical NSAIDs alone versus postoperative topical steroids alone. Two review authors independently selected studies for inclusion, assessed risk of bias and extracted data using standard methods expected by Cochrane. We pooled data using a random-effects model. We graded the certainty of the evidence using GRADE and considered the following: risk of bias of included studies, precision of the effect estimate, consistency of effects between studies, directness of the outcome measure and publication bias. We identified 34 studies that were conducted in the Americas, Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean region and South-East Asia. Over 5000 people were randomised in these trials. The majority of studies enrolled one eye per participant; a small subset (4 trials) enrolled a proportion of people with bilateral surgery. Twenty-eight studies compared NSAIDs plus steroids with steroids alone. Six studies compared NSAIDs with steroids. A variety of NSAIDs were used, including ketorolac, diclofenac, nepafenac, indomethacin, bromfenac, flurbiprofen and pranopfen. Follow-up ranged from one to 12 months. In general, the studies were poorly reported. We did not judge any of the studies at low risk of bias in all domains. Six studies were funded by industry, seven studies were funded from non-industry sources, and the rest of the studies did not report the source of funding.There was low-certainty evidence that people receiving topical NSAIDs in combination with steroids may have a lower risk of poor vision due to MO at three months after cataract surgery compared with people receiving steroids alone (risk ratio (RR) 0.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.23 to 0.76; eyes = 1360; studies = 5; I(2) = 5%). We judged this to be low-certainty evidence because of risk of bias in the included studies and indirectness, as the extent of visual loss was not always clear. Only one study reported poor vision due to MO at 12 months and we judged this to be very low-certainty evidence as there were only two events. Quality of life was only reported in one of the 34 studies comparing NSAIDs plus steroids versus steroids alone, and it was not fully reported, other than to comment on lack of differences between groups. There was evidence of a reduced risk of MO with NSAIDs at three months after surgery, but we judged this to be low-certainty due to risk of bias and publication bias (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.49; eyes = 3638; studies = 21). There was inconsistent evidence on central retinal thickness at three months (I(2) = 87%). Results ranged from -30.9 µm in favour of NSAIDs plus steroids to 7.44 µm in favour of steroids alone. Similarly, data on best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were inconsistent, but nine out of 10 trials reporting this outcome found between-group differences in visual acuity of less than 0.1 logMAR.None of the six studies comparing NSAIDs alone with steroids reported on poor vision due to MO at three or 12 months. There was low-certainty evidence that central retinal thickness was lower in the NSAIDs group at three months (mean difference (MD) -22.64 µm, 95% CI -38.86 to -6.43; eyes = 121; studies = 2). Five studies reported on MO and showed a reduced risk with NSAIDs, but we judged this evidence to be of low-certainty (RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.41; eyes = 520). Three studies reported BCVA at three months and the results of these trials were inconsistent, but all three studies found differences of less than 0.1 logMAR between groups.We did not note any major adverse events - the main consistent observation was burning or stinging sensation with the use of NSAIDs. Using topical NSAIDs may reduce the risk of developing macular oedema after cataract surgery, although it is possible that current estimates as to the size of this reduction are exaggerated. It is unclear the extent to which this reduction has an impact on the visual function and quality of life of patients. There is little evidence to suggest any important effect on vision after surgery. The value of adding topical NSAIDs to steroids, or using them as an alternative to topical steroids, with a view to reducing the risk of poor visual outcome after cataract surgery is therefore uncertain. Future trials should address the remaining clinical uncertainty of whether prophylactic topical NSAIDs are of benefit, particularly with respect to longer-term follow-up (at least to 12 months), and should be large enough to detect reduction in the risk of the outcome of most interest to patients, which is chronic macular oedema leading to visual loss.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 17 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 190 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Unknown 189 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 29 15%
Student > Master 25 13%
Researcher 24 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 10%
Other 13 7%
Other 36 19%
Unknown 44 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 80 42%
Nursing and Health Professions 15 8%
Psychology 6 3%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 6 3%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 3%
Other 24 13%
Unknown 54 28%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 32. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 November 2021.
All research outputs
of 19,417,097 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,926 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 310,911 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 164 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,417,097 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,926 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 27.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 310,911 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 164 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 78% of its contemporaries.