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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Monte Carlo simulation of expected outcomes with the AcrySof® toric intraocular lens

Warren Hill1* and Richard Potvin2

Author Affiliations

1 East Valley Ophthalmology, 5620 East Broadway Road, Mesa, Arizona, 85206, USA

2 Alcon Laboratories, Inc., 6201 S. Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas, 76134, USA

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BMC Ophthalmology 2008, 8:22  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-22

Published: 27 October 2008



To use a Monte Carlo simulation to predict postoperative results with the AcrySof® Toric lens, evaluating the likelihood of over- or under-correction using various toric lens selection criteria.


Keratometric data were obtained from a large patient population with preoperative corneal astigmatism <= 2.50D (2,000 eyes). The probability distributions for toric marking accuracy, surgically induced astigmatism and lens rotation were estimated using available data. Anticipated residual astigmatism was calculated using a Monte Carlo simulation under two different lens selection scenarios.


This simulation demonstrated that random errors in alignment, surgically induced astigmatism and lens rotation slightly reduced the overall effect of the toric lens. Residual astigmatism was statistically significantly higher under the simulation of surgery relative to an exact calculation (p < 0.05). The simulation also demonstrated that more aggressive lens selection criteria could produce clinically significant reductions in residual astigmatism in a high percentage of patients.


Monte Carlo simulation suggests that surgical variability and lens orientation/rotation variability may combine to produce small reductions in the correction achieved with the AcrySof® Toric® IOL. Adopting more aggressive lens selection criteria may yield significantly lower residual astigmatism values for many patients, with negligible overcorrections. Surgeons are encouraged to evaluate their AcrySof® Toric® outcomes to determine if they should modify their individual lens selection criteria, or their default surgically induced astigmatism value, to benefit their patients.