Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Posterior subcapsular cataract and inhaled corticosteroid therapy.
  1. F Abuekteish,
  2. J N Kirkpatrick,
  3. G Russell
  1. Department of Medical Paediatrics, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Foresterhill, UK.


    BACKGROUND--Although posterior subcapsular cataract complicates both systemic and topical corticosteroid therapy, the literature on the effects of inhaled corticosteroids is conflicting. METHODS--One hundred and forty children and young adults on inhaled corticosteroids were examined by slit lamp ophthalmoscopy after pupillary dilatation; 103 had received one or more short courses (< or = 7 days) of oral corticosteroids in the management of acute asthmatic attacks and four had also received one or more prolonged courses (> or = 4 weeks) of alternate day oral corticosteroid therapy. RESULTS--Bilateral posterior subcapsular cataract was identified in one girl who had received several prolonged courses of oral corticosteroids, but was not identified in any other patient. CONCLUSIONS--There is no evidence to support the contention that inhaled corticosteroid therapy on its own, or in association with short courses of oral corticosteroid therapy, might cause cataracts. Although children receiving long term systemic corticosteroid therapy should be screened for cataracts, this is unnecessary in children on inhaled corticosteroids alone.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.