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J R Kuszak, J G Sivak, J A Weerheim; Lens optical quality is a direct function of lens sutural architecture.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1991;32(7):2119-2129.
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We analyzed the structural and functional relationship between lens sutures and lens optical quality (focal length variability) by correlative scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and laser scan analysis. Twenty-two rabbit lenses (8 pigmented and 14 albino) were used in this study. Lenses were initially scanned by a low-power helium-neon laser beam that was passed either at an acute angle to a lens suture or along a lens suture. The results of laser scan analysis with the incident beam passed at an acute angle to a lens suture showed that generally, rabbit lenses were well corrected for spherical aberration. Subsequent SEM analysis showed that areas of lenses scanned that produced the least amount of focal variability were characterized by uniform fiber cells arranged in parallel, radial cell columns. In contrast, the results of laser scan analysis with the incident beam passed along a lens suture showed that there was significant focal length variability, i.e., spherical aberration at the lens sutures. Subsequent SEM analysis showed that the areas of lenses scanned that produced the greatest amounts of focal variability (lens sutures) were characterized by nonuniform fiber cell ends arranged as erratic suture branches in single growth shells and collectively as erratic suture planes formed between growth shells extending from the embryonic nucleus to the lens periphery. Furthermore, the amount of focal variability was directly proportional to the degree of structural disorder at the lens sutures. This is the first study to unequivocally show that the relationship between lens optical quality and specific parameters of lens morphology (lens sutures) can be quantified. These findings may help to elucidate the pathologic changes that lead to presbyopia and cortical cataractogenesis because these lenses are characterized by asymmetrical suture patterns and planes.
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