Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of eyeLink to Publisher's site
Eye (Lond). 2015 July; 29(7): 980–981.
Published online 2015 February 27. doi:  10.1038/eye.2015.19
PMCID: PMC4506330

Response to ‘Opaque intraocular lens implantation'


We thank Professor MacEwen and coauthors1 for responding to our letter describing the factors influencing primary black intraocular lens (IOL) selection.2 They present the first study describing the clinical outcomes following primary implantation of a large (>7 mm optic) black IOL within the capsular bag. The Ophtec Black Ani II IOL (Ophtec BV, Groningen, The Netherlands) is a novel device produced from a material that is identical to the Artisan 201 iris-claw IOL, which has been proven to be occlusive to near infra-red (NIR) light.3 This series adds to the growing experience with black IOL implantation, and several observations warrant further comment.

The mechanism of light perception following black IOL implantation is a curious phenomenon and its identification is critical to minimize the risk of treatment failure.4, 5 High rates of postoperative satisfaction are reported in patients with NIR-transmitting black IOLs,6 despite near universal postoperative light perception.5 We have suggested previously that trans-optical NIR light transmission across NIR-transmitting black IOLs may underlie intractable ghosting and treatment failure.4, 5 Such symptoms are extinguished by secondary NIR-blocking Ophtec black iris-claw IOL implantation.4, 7 Postoperative light perception in this series suggests para-optical light leakage despite a 9 mm occlusive optic, exceeding the scotopic pupil diameter. It is unlikely that formed, foveal images would result as a consequence: perceptions of ‘ghosting' following Ophtec Ani II Black IOL implantation are unlikely.

Numerous black IOLs are available for clinical use, each with specific dimensions and properties that must be tailored to lens status/pupil size and the risk of retinal or optic nerve disease in each individual patient.2 We have recently described ultra-widefield imaging in a patient with a NIR-transmitting black IOL using the Heidelberg Spectralis Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany). This novel discovery may drive primary implantation of NIR-transmitting black IOLs to achieve a balance of efficacy and safety – permitting detection of retinal and optic nerve pathology across the life of the implant.

All black IOLs are likely to alleviate symptoms in patients with intractable diplopia and represent valid treatment modalities. However, it is essential that both patient and surgeon are informed of the risks of treatment failure and the possibility of ultra-widefield retinal imaging when a primary black IOL is selected.


The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  • Gong JWL, O'Colmain U, MacEwen CJ. Opaque intraocular lens implantation. Eye (Lond) 2015;29:978–980. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Yusuf IH, Fung TH, Patel CK. Primary black intraocular lens selection. Eye (Lond) 2014;28 (11:1380–1382. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Yusuf IH, Peirson SN, Patel CK. Inability to perform posterior segment monitoring by scanning laser ophthalmoscopy or optical coherence tomography with some occlusive intraocular lenses in clinical use. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2012;38 (3:513–518. [PubMed]
  • Yusuf IH, Arun KS, Rosen P, Patel CK. Black-on-black secondary occlusive IOL implantation to alleviate enigmatic light perception through a black IOL. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2013;39 (9:1439–1441. [PubMed]
  • Yusuf IH, Peirson SN, Patel CK. Black intraocular lenses: near infra-red light transmission may risk treatment failure. Br J Ophthalmol. 2013;97 (10:1353–1354. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kwok T, Watts P. Opaque intraocular lens for intractable diplopia-UK survey. Strabismus. 2009;17 (4:167–170. [PubMed]
  • Shonibare O, Lochhead J. 'Double occlusion': black Artisan iris claw intraocular lens insertion following failed occlusion treatment for intractable diplopia. Eye (Lond) 2014;28 (6:768–769. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Eye are provided here courtesy of Nature Publishing Group