Purpose: With the increasing use of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in children to treat diseases of the hematopoietic system, ocular complications have been recognized in greater numbers. The authors performed a retrospective study to determine the prevalence and types of ocular abnormalities in a pediatric population following BMT. Design: Retrospective noncomparative study. Participants: One hundred and four consecutive pediatric patients with aplastic anemia and various hematologic malignancies who required BMT. Intervention: Bone marrow transplantation. Main Outcome Measures: Visual acuity and slit-lamp biomicroscopic and funduscopic examinations. Results: Ocular changes developed in 51% of patients. The most frequent findings included dry eye syndrome (12.5%), cataract (23.0%), and posterior segment complications (13.5%). A final visual acuity of 20/40 or better was achieved in 95.7% of eyes. Conclusions: Pediatric patients can develop severe and potentially vision-threatening complications following BMT. Despite the high incidence of anterior and posterior segment abnormalities, ocular symptoms were generally mild and the majority of patients retained excellent visual function. Factors associated with ocular complications included the underlying disease, total body irradiation, systemic chemotherapy, graft-versus-host disease, and immunosuppression. Familiarity with these risk factors and potential complications in pediatric patients is important for successful treatment.
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