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April 1984

Presenile Cataracts

Author Affiliations

Birmingham, Ala

Arch Ophthalmol. 1984;102(4):507. doi:10.1001/archopht.1984.01040030393002

To the Editor.  —We previously reported in the Archives1 an increased incidence of bilateral "idiopathic" presenile (younger than age 50 years) cataracts in patients with reduced galactosemic enzyme levels. These cataracts were found to be posterior subcapsular (PSC) in type. We also found that younger patients with "secondary" cataracts had a higher than expected incidence of reduced galactosemic enzyme levels.A recent study by Maraini et al2 of 26 patients with "bilateral 'idiopathic' presenile cataracts" (type unspecified) failed to corroborate our findings. These authors employed a different assay technique, and their normal values had an SD of 36% of the mean value for galactokinase (GK) and 42% for galactose-1-phosphate uridyl transferase (GPUT). Our corresponding SDs were 13% of the mean for GK and 10% for GPUT.Since our original report, we have measured erythrocyte GK and GPUT levels in an additional 87 patients aged 50 years or younger with

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