The Effect of 400 mg of Caffeine on Untrained Subjects Performance of Simulated Ocular Microsurgery

Frederick Robert Burgess, Jack Henderson, Andreas Katsimpris, Andrew Tatham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the effects of 400 mg of caffeine ingestion on previously untrained students’
performance on simulated microsurgical tasks.
Methods: 10 previously untrained students were included and randomised into two groups: a control or caffeine
group. Each group received a 15-min orientation session on a microsurgical simulator (VRMagic eyesi surgical
simulator, Mannheim, Germany). Each group then performed three repetitions of each task: a navigation task, a
forceps task and a bimanual task. The control group repeated the testing sequence after a 30-min break. The
caffeine group orally ingested 400 mg of caffeine and 30 min later repeated the same sequence. An ECG was
performed on the caffeine group before and after caffeine ingestion to assess for arrhythmia. Overall score (%) was
the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included odometer (mm), time taken (s) and injured cornea and lens
area (mm2
Results: 10 subjects fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Mean age was 22.42 ± 0.92 years old. 4 subjects were male, 6
were female. 9 were right handed and 1 was left handed. The learning curve effect was significant and varying
across subjects. There was no significant difference between baseline testing parameters of the two groups. There
was no significant difference between the overall performance of the caffeinated and control groups. The control
group did however complete the navigation and forceps tasks faster than the caffeine group. A reduction in the heart
rate of the caffeine group was observed after caffeine dose.
Conclusion: Our results show no significant change of simulated microsurgical ability after 400 mg of caffeine
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2017


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