The prospective study by Parmar and coauthors is in- teresting in that it showed little evidence of IFIS in 29 patients on 1. Chang DF, Campbell JR. Intraoperative floppy iris syndrome associated systemic a-blockers, including 3 on tamsulosin. This is consistent with tamsulosin. J Cataract Refract Surg 2005; 31:664–673 with the retrospective study reported in our paper, in which IFIS 2. Schwartz G. A rational ordering of the actions of antipsychotic drugs.
was not recorded in 11 patients taking systemic prazosin, terazo- sin, or doxazosin and was not always noted in patients on tamsu-losin. However, we are aware of several anecdotal reports of IFISoccurring in patients on terazosin and doxazosin.
The finding that an antipsychotic medication with Many factors could variably affect the ability of a systemic a- strong a-antagonist properties may have caused IFIS is most in- antagonist to cause IFIS. These would include the dosing and du- teresting. Now that this syndrome of IFIS has been defined, it ration of treatment, the intraocular drug level achieved, and the will be interesting to see to what extent a-antagonists besides relative affinity of the drug for the iris dilator muscle receptors.
tamsulosin are associated with this syndrome. The technique of We previously noted that tamsulosin appears to have a stronger direct intracameral injection of phenylephrine certainly deserves affinity for the a-1A receptor than other a-antagonists. This could affect both the duration and constancy of receptor blockade.
dDavid F. Chang, MD, John R. Campbell, MD Finally, there are likely to be individual differences in one’s susceptibility to developing IFIS. We believe that the association of IFIS and systemic a-blockers will prove to represent a con-tinuum of frequency and severity, depending on the drug andindividual susceptibility. We agree that larger prospective studies Alpha blockers (also known as a-adrenergic blockers or a-adren- will be necessary to better quantify the risk for IFIS.dDavid F.
ergic antagonists) are used primarily in the treatment of systemic hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia. They block the ef-fects of stress hormones that lead to an increase in heart rate andblood pressure. Alpha receptor blockade in hyperplastic prostatictissue, prostatic capsule, and bladder neck decreases smooth mus- cle tone, thereby decreasing resistance to urinary flow and im-proving symptoms.
Concern about the use of these medications, especially tamsu- We thank Gu¨ell et for introducing this unprecedented phaco- losin (Flomax), has been linked to causing the intraoperative floppy emulsification technique. The key to success is the free and unre- iris syndrome (IFIS).We wondered whether all a-antagonists stricted rotatory movement of the nucleus. With this technical might be a cause of intraoperative difficulties. To assess the risk prerequisite, this variant of phacoemulsification does not appear in a typical unselected population having phacoemulsification cat- to be as surgically simple and safe as other techniques. The feasi- aract surgery, we prospectively investigated 100 consecutive pa- bility of this technique would be undermined by some cataract tients to assess the prevalence of the use of a-antagonists and the possible relationship to perioperative problems.
First, what would be the surgical strategy in conditions such Our results showed that 29 patients (29%) were on as zonular dehiscence or dense posterior subcapsular cataract in a-antagonists: doxazosin, 11 patients; indoramin, 8; prazosin, 5; which rotating the lens is difficult? Second, the usual position of terazosin, 2; tamsulosin, 3; no patient was taking alfuzosin. Of the phaco tip during rotatory movement is at the capsulorhexis these patients, 68% were women. No patient had bilateral surgery.
Theoretically, this has the advantage of curtailing the risk The patients on a-antagonists had been on the medication for at for endothelial and posterior capsule injury. However, the close proximity of the edge of the capsulorhexis to the phaco tip may Only 1 patient had a perioperative problem increase the risk for anterior capsule damage during phacoemul- pupil. No patient had IFIS. None of the 3 patients on Flomax sification. If undetected, an anterior capsule tear may extend across the equator, leading to a dropped nucleus or, later, to IOL Patients who have cataract surgery are typically elderly and decentration.This is an important safety issue that should not will usually be on some form of medication. It is important to ap- be overlooked while performing the phaco rolling technique.
preciate that these can cause interactions that may affect the sur- The authors did not report any anterior capsule injury, and we gery. However, while a-antagonists are widely prescribed in the are interested to learn the precautions for reducing or preventing population having cataract surgery, our pilot study did not show a significant link between these drugs and perioperative problems.
In particular, taking Flomax does not always result in IFIS. The 1. Gu¨ell JL, Vazquez M, Lucena J, et al. Phaco rolling technique. J Cataract 1. Chang DF, Campbell JR. Intraoperative floppy iris syndrome associated 2. Davison JA. Analysis of capsular bag defects and intraocular lens posi- with tamsulosin. J Cataract Refract Surg 2005; 31:664–673 tions for consistent centration. J Cataract Refract Surg 1986; 12:24–129 J CATARACT REFRACT SURG - VOL 31, DECEMBER 2005


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Richard E. Kast*,1 and Daniele Focosi † ,1*Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont,Burlington, VT 05401, USA; †Division of Hematology,University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, ItalyTreating Chronic MyelogenousLeukemia and Glioblastomawith ImatinibChronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) can be controlled for years with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib but be-cause imatinib poorly penetrates

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