University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Coppock Cataract

Contributor: Elizabeth Gauger, MD

Photographer: Cindy Montague, CRA

21-year-old female with history of bilateral congenital cataracts. This is called a "Coppock cataract," also known as a "central pulverulent cataract." It refers to a pulverulent disc-like opactiy involving the embryonal and fetal nucleus with many tiny white dots in the lamellar portion of the lens. It is usually bilateral and dominantly inherited.

Coppock CataractCoppock Cataract

The patient's mother and older sister also have nearly identical-appearing cataracts. These cataracts were not removed, because in this case, they were non-amblyogenic. Patients with this type of congenital cataract often have excellent visual acuity and are unaware that they even have a cataract. This patient has 20/20 visual acuity.

Historical Images from Nettleship 1906
Coppock Cataract Coppock Cataract
Nettleship (1906) Figure 1: Typical form of the cataract. Illustration from 1888, showing the lens appearance of William Coppock. Nettleship (1906) Figure 2: Atypical form, showing a triradiate opacity of greater density than the rest.


Nettleship E, Ogilvie F. A peculiar form of hereditary congenital cataract. Trans Ophthalmol Soc UK. 1906;26:191.

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last updated: 1/5/2013
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