A cataract is said to be mature when all the cortical fibres become opaque. Depending on the pathophysiological processes that cause the cortical fibre opacification this phenomenon may be associated with a varying degree of nuclear sclerosis. A relationship between lens hardness and degree of nuclear sclerosis in non-mature cataracts has been demonstrated previously. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the hardness of mature cataracts and the transmitted nuclear colour, age and rate of progression of the cataract. Thirty-eight patients with mature cataracts were assessed prior to extracapsular cataract surgery. The nuclear colour that was transmitted through the opaque cortex was graded using reference photographs. Age and duration of visual symptoms were recorded and lens hardness was measured by a specially designed lens guillotine. Multivariate analysis of data indicates a relationship between hardness of a mature cataract and the transmitted nuclear colour and age (adjusted R2 = 0.59). There is also a tendency for hardening of the lens as the duration of visual symptoms increases. By considering these clinical markers, the cataract surgeon can estimate the hardness of the lens and therefore its suitability for phacoemulsification.
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Tabandeh, H., Thompson, G. & Heyworth, P. Lens hardness in mature cataracts. Eye 8, 453–455 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1038/eye.1994.107
- Duration of cataract
- Lens hardness
- Mature cataract
- Nuclear colour
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