Purpose: To determine local refractive changes and higher-order aberrations in patients with nuclear or cortical cataract.
Setting: Osaka University Medical School, Osaka, Japan.
Methods: Wavefront analysis of both ocular and corneal aberrations was performed with the Hartmann-Shack aberrometer in 2 patients, a 22-year-old woman with bilateral developmental nuclear cataract and a 68-year-old woman with mild bilateral cortical cataract.
Results: Case 1 showed a delay in the wavefront that caused a myopic shift in the central pupillary area in both eyes, associated with the nuclear cataract. The spherical-like aberration (right eye, 36%; left eye, 21%) was greater than the coma-like aberration in both eyes. Case 2 showed an advancement of the wavefront that caused a hyperopic shift, especially in the lower temporal pupillary area, that was associated with the cortical cataract. The coma-like aberration (right eye, 63%; left eye, 52%) was greater than the spherical-like aberration in both eyes. The polarity of the third-order spherical aberration was negative in Case 1 and positive in Case 2. Corneal higher-order aberrations were small and had a different distribution than ocular higher-order aberrations in both patients.
Conclusions: The Hartmann-Shack aberrometer was useful in detecting local refractive changes and higher-order aberrations in patients with mild cataract. The polarity and the absolute value of ocular higher-order aberrations may be useful parameters to characterize eyes with cataract.