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GJ Harocopos, Y-B Shui, M McKinnon, NM Holekamp, MO Gordon, DC Beebe; The Importance Of Vitreous Liquefaction In Age-related Nuclear Cataract . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1525.
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Purpose: Conditions in which the vitreous body liquefies prematurely or is absent (high myopia, Stickler syndrome, vitrectomy) are associated with the early onset or rapid progression of nuclear cataract. We tested whether liquefaction of the vitreous gel is related to maturity-onset nuclear cataract. Methods: Lenses of 83 eyes of 49 donors were removed with minimal disruption of the anterior vitreous face, placed in a cuvette, and graded for nuclear cataract using a slit-lamp and a modified LOCS III scoring system. Each globe was sliced transversely to incise the vitreous core, and the amount of liquid vitreous expressed was weighed. The fraction of total vitreous volume that was liquid (% liquefaction) was calculated by adjusting the liquid vitreous weight for eye circumference. The relationship between nuclear cataract (NC) score and % liquefaction was analyzed using a Pearson correlation coefficient and mixed linear regression model that accounts for the correlation between fellow eyes. Results: Mean age was 59 years 16 S.D; mean NC was 3 1; and mean percent liquefaction was 19 13. Pearson correlation coefficients are reported in the table. View OriginalDownload SlideView OriginalDownload Slide (*p < 0.01). The partial correlation between percent liquefaction and nuclear cataract adjusting for age was 0.44 (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Increased vitreous liquefaction is associated with increased age-related nuclear cataract after controlling for age. We postulate that the loss of vitreous gel allows bulk flow of fluid between the retina and lens, which contributes to nuclear cataract by delivering more oxygen to the normally hypoxic lens. Preservation or replacement of the vitreous gel may protect patients from nuclear cataract.
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