Posterior polar cataracts are lens opacities that involve the posterior subcapsular cortex and posterior capsule. They are important to recognize prior to cataract surgery because the posterior capsule may be weak or absent in that area, leading to an increased risk of surgical complications. To minimize this risk, surgeons should avoid hydrodissection or other maneuvers that place excessive pressure on the posterior capsule. Bilateral posterior polar cataracts are generally familial and inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, while unilateral posterior polar cataracts are generally sporadic and may be associated with persistent fetal vasculature, lenticonus, or lentiglobus.
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