Background/aim: Hereditary hyperferritinaemia cataract syndrome (HHCS) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterised by elevated serum L-ferritin and bilateral cataracts. The ocular manifestations of this disorder are poorly studied. This study therefore sought to determine the origin of cataracts in HHCS.
Methods: L-ferritin ELISA, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analysis of a lens nucleus from an HHCS individual.
Results: The HHCS lens L-ferritin content was 147 microg/g dry weight of lens compared with <16 microg/g for a non-HHCS control cataract lens. The cataract comprised discrete crystalline inclusions with positive staining with anti-L-ferritin but not anti-H-ferritin.
Conclusions: This unusual finding of crystalline opacities in the lens may be unique to HHCS and is likely to result from disturbed metabolism of L-ferritin within the lens or an abnormal interaction between L-ferritin and lens proteins.