Journal of Applied Medical Sciences

Sorbitol Dehydrogenase Activity in Diabetes Mellitus and Cataract Patients

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  • Abstract

    Accumulation of sorbitol in the pathogenesis of cataract in susceptible subjects has long been an issue. Sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) activity in 25 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and 15 patients having cataract was investigated using 10 subjects without diabetes or cataract as the control. Results of fasting plasma glucose assay done on the DM patients showed a mean range of 64 144mg/dl in cataract patient, 67 293mg/dl in DM patient and 60 100mg/dl in the control subjects. Also, SDH activity in the three categories of patients were 0.7 5.6 IU/ml, 3.5 11.2 IU/ml and 0.7 4.2 in cataract, DM and control subjects respectively. A comparative analysis of the sorbitol level in cataract and DM patients showed that DM patients have a higher level of SDH activity than cataract patients while the level of SDH activity in both cataract and control subject were statistically similar. While we concluded from this work that SDH activity or sorbitol accumulation may not necessarily be a predisposing factor in the development of cataract secondary to diabetes mellitus in the group of subjects studied, it is our opinion that the generalized mode of managing cataract patients with the administration of aldose-reductase inhibitors should be reviewed.