Morphologic alterations in the anterior lens capsule of canine eyes with cataracts

Michael E. Bernays Animal Eye Services, Kessels Road Veterinary Hospital, McGregor QLD 4109 Brisbane, Australia.

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Robert L. Peiffer Departments of Ophthalmology and Pathology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.

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 DVM, PhD

Abstract

Objective—To examine the morphologic changes in the anterior lens capsule and lens epithelium of canine eyes with cataracts.

Sample Population—Anterior lens capsules from the eyes of 25 dogs with cataracts and from an additional 10 canine globes with lenses subjectively assessed to be normal.

Procedure—Thickness of each anterior lens capsule was measured by use of a digital microscopic camera and imaging software. All 25 capsules from eyes with cataracts were submitted for light microscopy; 4 were also submitted for electron microscopy.

Results—Thickness of the anterior lens capsule increased with age for the normal lenses and the lenses with cataracts; the change with age was similar for both groups. Light microscopy revealed fibrous metaplasia of lens epithelial cells in 7 of 25 anterior lens capsules with focal thickenings of the posterior aspect of the capsule. Electron microscopy revealed deposition of collagen and basement membrane-like material by fibroblast-like cells.

Conclusions—Results indicate that thickness of the anterior lens capsule in dogs increases with age and that this increase in thickness is not significantly different between normal lenses and lenses with cataracts. In addition, epithelial cells from lenses with cataracts may undergo metaplasia to form plaques composed of fibrous tissue and ectopic basement membrane produced by epithelial cells. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1517–1519)

Abstract

Objective—To examine the morphologic changes in the anterior lens capsule and lens epithelium of canine eyes with cataracts.

Sample Population—Anterior lens capsules from the eyes of 25 dogs with cataracts and from an additional 10 canine globes with lenses subjectively assessed to be normal.

Procedure—Thickness of each anterior lens capsule was measured by use of a digital microscopic camera and imaging software. All 25 capsules from eyes with cataracts were submitted for light microscopy; 4 were also submitted for electron microscopy.

Results—Thickness of the anterior lens capsule increased with age for the normal lenses and the lenses with cataracts; the change with age was similar for both groups. Light microscopy revealed fibrous metaplasia of lens epithelial cells in 7 of 25 anterior lens capsules with focal thickenings of the posterior aspect of the capsule. Electron microscopy revealed deposition of collagen and basement membrane-like material by fibroblast-like cells.

Conclusions—Results indicate that thickness of the anterior lens capsule in dogs increases with age and that this increase in thickness is not significantly different between normal lenses and lenses with cataracts. In addition, epithelial cells from lenses with cataracts may undergo metaplasia to form plaques composed of fibrous tissue and ectopic basement membrane produced by epithelial cells. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1517–1519)

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