Contributor: Gordon K. Klintworth
A cortical cataract (soft cataract, stellate cataract) is a type of cataract. It results from degeneration of the lens cells or lens fibers and is marked by fractures, degeneration and liquefaction of the fiber cells of the lens cortex. Its incipient stage is marked by the formation of vacuoles or clefts in the lens cortex. Interrupted and folded lens fibers and cortical clefts are filled with Morgagnian globules. The sclerotic lens nucleus usually resists liquefaction. The osmotic effect of the degenerated lens cortex causes the lens to imbibe aqueous humor and swell and a Morgagnian cataract [cataract - Morgagnian] may form. A cortical cataract begins principally in the inferonasal part of the lens where sunlight is concentrated. An epidemiological study on watermen has established an association between cortical cataract and ultraviolet light B.