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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 608751, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/608751
Review Article

Diabetic Cataract—Pathogenesis, Epidemiology and Treatment

Department of Ophthalmology and Optometry, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria

Received 11 December 2009; Accepted 2 April 2010

Academic Editor: Mark Petrash

Copyright © 2010 Andreas Pollreisz and Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cataract in diabetic patients is a major cause of blindness in developed and developing countries. The pathogenesis of diabetic cataract development is still not fully understood. Recent basic research studies have emphasized the role of the polyol pathway in the initiation of the disease process. Population-based studies have greatly increased our knowledge concerning the association between diabetes and cataract formation and have defined risk factors for the development of cataract. Diabetic patients also have a higher risk of complications after phacoemulsification cataract surgery compared to nondiabetics. Aldose-reductase inhibitors and antioxidants have been proven beneficial in the prevention or treatment of this sightthreatening condition in in vitro and in vivo experimental studies. This paper provides an overview of the pathogenesis of diabetic cataract, clinical studies investigating the association between diabetes and cataract development, and current treatment of cataract in diabetics.