Light and electron microscopic features of preclinical pseudoexfoliation syndrome

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Suwan, Yanin
Kulnirandorn, Tuangporn
Schlötzer-Schrehardt, Ursula
Wongchaya, Sattawat
Petpiroon, Purit
Supakontanasan, Wasu
Tantraworasin, Apichat
Teekhasanee, Chaiwat


This study sought to explore the features of the anterior lens capsule in patients with preclinical pseudoexfoliation syndrome (pPEX) via light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Design

Cross-sectional, prospective, and observational case series. Methods

We recruited consecutive patients with and without pPEX who underwent routine cataract surgery at Ramathibodi Hospital, between April 2018 and November 2020. pPEX can be characterized by pigmented spoke-wheel deposition (P) on the anterior lens capsule, midperiphery cleft/lacunae (C), faint central disc present within the photopic pupil (D), white-spoke pattern (W) noted at the midperiphery, and a combination of at least two signs (Co). LM and TEM were used to examine anterior lens capsule specimens for the presence of characteristic pseudoexfoliation material (PXM). The features of the anterior lens capsule in pPEX explored via LM and TEM were recorded. Results

This study included a total of 96 patients (101 excised anterior lens capsules); among them, 34 (35 excised anterior lens capsules) exhibited pPEX signs (pPEX group) but 62 (66 excised anterior lens capsules) did not (control group). The patients had a mean age of 74 ± 7 (range, 58–89) years. LM and TEM revealed no definite PXM in any patient. In the pPEX group, LM analysis identified two capsule specimens with suspected PXM; PXM precursors were observed in 1 of the 34 excised capsule specimens analyzed via TEM. Furthermore, 39 eyes (59.09%) exhibited signs of true exfoliation syndrome (TEX) in LM analysis (12.82%, 25.64%, 10.26%, 10.26%, and 41.03% for patients exhibiting P, D, C, W, and Co, respectively). However, no TEX signs were observed in the control group. We found that the anterior lens capsules exhibiting C and D were significantly associated with TEX (odds ratio = 5.4 and 7.9; P = 0.007 and 0.004, respectively). Conclusions

LM analysis revealed no definite PXMs were detected in the excised anterior lens capsules, whereas TEM analysis showed PXM precursors in one specimen (2.94%). Notably, a significant association was observed between C and D signs and TEX.

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