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Two-week progression of subcapsular cataracts in scleroderma: General overview and case presentation

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:55pm

By Veronica Constantine, O.D

Scleroderma or progressive systemic sclerosis is a relatively rare connective tissue disorder with varying degrees of severity depending on the involved organs. The associated changes in dermal collagen make the skin thickened and leathery and bind it to underlying structures, limiting mobility. This can be manifest as an inability to close the mouth or eyes due to severe skin tightening.

Ocular manifestations include narrowing of the palpebral aperture, focal telangiectasia, keratitis sicca, retinal hemorrhages, cotton wool spots, chorioretinitis, papilledema and paralysis of the superior oblique muscle. Presenile cataract development due to scleroderma has not been well documented in the literature, as factors such as advanced age of the patient, long-term use of systemic steroids, and trauma complicate the picture. This paper presents photodocumentation of the two-week progression of anterior/posterior subcapsular cataracts in a 46-year-old female with scleroderma.

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