Referral patterns for infantile cataracts in two regions of the United States

Laura C. Huang, Priyanka Kumar, Douglas R. Fredrick, Deborah M. Alcorn, Euna B. Koo, Laurel Stell, Scott R. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Delayed treatment of congenital or infantile cataracts can cause deprivation amblyopia. Prompt diagnosis and surgical intervention is critical for optimal outcomes. This study assessed referral patterns for congenital or infantile cataracts in two regions of the United States. Methods: The medical records of children 0-1 years of age with congenital or infantile cataracts at Stanford University (2008-2018) and Emory University (2010-2015) were reviewed retrospectively. Results: A total of 111 children were included. Of these, 82 (74%) were initially evaluated by a primary care doctor, of whom 40 (49%) were referred directly to a pediatric cataract surgeon. Of 61 newborns 0-2 months of age, 9 (15%) were initially referred to an eye care provider before 6 weeks of age, but the initial evaluation by a pediatric cataract surgeon was delayed until after 6 weeks of age. Referral patterns were similar between the two institutions (P = 0.06). Conclusions: Many children with congenital of infantile cataracts are initially referred by a primary care doctor to an eye care provider who does not perform pediatric cataract surgery. Nevertheless, the majority of newborn infants with cataracts were evaluated by a pediatric cataract surgeon before 6 weeks of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6.e1-6.e5
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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