Background: This research aimed to ascertain the differences in morphological manifestation in the human diabetic cataractous lens compared to a non-diabetic cataractous lens by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Materials and Methods: Lens fibers were prefixed in glutaraldehyde and subsequently post-fixed in a Hexamethyldisilazane and examined by SEM. The SEM images gave a comparative morphological impression of the ongoing structural alterations during the degeneration process of human non-diabetic cataracts and diabetic cataract lenses. Results: Diabetic cataractous lens fibers were identified by more chaotic longitudinal fiber splitting, porosity, and granulation of the lens fiber membrane and opening (distortion) of the lens fiber interdigitation system than their non-cataractous diabetic counterparts. Diabetic cataract lenses showed an increased rate of nucleus compaction compared to non-diabetic cataract lenses. Conclusion: The absence of Finger-like and flap projections and the disappearance of the ball and socket system is prominent in diabetic cataract lenses, suggesting the hyperglycaemic effect in the degeneration of lens fibers and further contributes to the early onset of cataracts in diabetes compared to non-diabetic.
Keywords: Cataract, Diabetic complications, Morphology, Scanning electron microscopy.