Update on intraocular lens formulas and calculations

Tina Xia, Christine E. Martinez, Linda M. Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Investigators, scientists, and physicians continue to develop new methods of intraocular lens (IOL) calculation to improve the refractive accuracy after cataract surgery. To gain more accurate prediction of IOL power, vergence lens formulas have incorporated additional biometric variables, such as anterior chamber depth, lens thickness, white-to-white measurement, and even age in some algorithms. Newer formulas diverge from their classic regression and vergence-based predecessors and increasingly utilize techniques such as exact ray-tracing data, more modern regression models, and artificial intelligence. This review provides an update on recent literature comparing the commonly used third- and fourth-generation IOL formulas with newer generation formulas. Refractive outcomes with newer formulas are increasingly more and more accurate, so it is important for ophthalmologists to be aware of the various options for choosing IOL power. Historically, refractive outcomes have been especially unpredictable in patients with unusual biometry, corneal ectasia, a history of refractive surgery, and in pediatric patients. Refractive outcomes in these patient populations are improving. Improved biometry technology is also allowing for improved refractive outcomes and surgery planning convenience with the availability of newer formulas on various biometry platforms. It is crucial for surgeons to understand and utilize the most accurate formulas for their patients to provide the highest quality of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-193
Number of pages8
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • artificial intelligence
  • biometry
  • ectasia
  • ray tracing
  • vergence formulas


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