Various types of cataracts
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Bilateral cataracts in an infant due to Congenital rubella syndrome, courtesy CDCThe following is a classification of the various types of cataracts. This is not comprehensive and other unusual types may be noted.
Classified by etiology
Immature Senile Cataract (IMSC) – partially opaque lens, disc view hazy
Mature Senile Cataract (MSC) – Completely opaque lens, no disc view
Hypermature Senile Cataract (HMSC) – Liquefied cortical matter: Morgagnian
Slit lamp photo of Anterior capsular opacification visible a few months after implantation of Intraocular lens in eye, magnified viewDrug-induced cataract (e.g. Corticosteroids)
Blunt trauma (capsule usually intact)
Penetrating trauma (capsular rupture & leakage of lens material – calls for an emergency surgery for extraction of lens and leaked material to minimize further damage)
Classified by location of opacity within lens structure (However, mixed morphology is quite commonly seen, e.g. PSC with nuclear changes & cortical spokes of cataract)
Anterior cortical cataract
Anterior polar cataract
Anterior subcapsular cataract
Slit lamp photo of Posterior capsular opacification visible a few months after implantation of Intraocular lens in eye, seen on retroilluminationNuclear cataract – Grading correlates with hardness & difficulty of surgical removal
1 – Grey
2 – Yellow
3 – Amber
4 – Brown/Black (Note: “Black cataract” translated in some languages (like Hindi) refers to Glaucoma, not the color of the lens nucleus)
Posterior cortical cataract
Posterior polar cataract (importance lies in higher risk of complication – posterior capsular tears during surgery)
Posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC) (clinically common)
Posterior capsular opacification subsequent to a successful extracapsular cataract surgery (usually within 3 months – 2 years) with or without IOL implantation. Requires a quick & painless office procedure with Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy to restore optical clarity.