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Eye (Lond). 2011 Oct;25(10):1317-21. doi: 10.1038/eye.2011.156. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

The influence of cortical, nuclear, subcortical posterior, and mixed cataract on the results of microperimetry.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



Microperimetry is a useful instrument for evaluating sensitivity threshold due to retinal pathologies. The aim of the study is to assess the impact of different forms of cataract on microperimetry results.


In a prospective design, patients were recruited for cataract surgery at the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Vienna. Exclusion criteria were any other ophthalmic disease except cataract, that is, macular pathology. Using the Lens Opacities Classification System III classification, patients were classified into four groups: nuclear, cortical, subcapsular posterior, and mixed cataract. Then patients underwent microperimetry: results were analyzed for magnitude of retinal sensitivity loss and correlated to the forms and density of the cataract.


Mean density of cataract was LOCS 3.2-3.5 in the four groups. Differences were not statistically significant. The best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was LogMAR 0.5 ± 0.13 in nuclear, LogMAR 0.49 ± 0.21 in cortical, and LogMAR 0.58 ± 0.12 in mixed cataract patients, and significantly worse in patients with subcapsular posterior cataract (LogMAR 0.64 ± 0.12). Microperimetry shows a mean sensitivity of 11.4-12.6 dB without significant group differences. The BCVA is correlated with microperimetry in patients with nuclear and cortical cataract. Density of cataract is highly correlated with microperimetry results in all groups.


The present study shows a good correlation of microperimetry results with the BCVA of patients with nuclear and cortical cataract. In patients with subcapsular posterior cataract, microperimetry results were better than estimated by BCVA. Density of cataract is highly correlated with macular sensitivity. A reduction of 1 dB in microperimetry per 1 posterior capsule opacification score increase can be estimated for these patients.

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