Bilateral cataracts associated with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

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Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) has an essential role in the defense against cellular oxidative injury. In neonates, the most common manifestation of G6PD deficiency is jaundice and hemolysis due to factors causing oxidative stress. Less known are the ocular associations described with G6PD deficiency, including cataracts. Oxidative injury is involved in the pathogenesis of almost all forms of cataracts, causing the lens proteins to undergo modifications, denaturation and form insoluble aggregates resulting in cataracts. Although cataracts in adult males have been reported in several studies, there are few reports of cataracts in infants with G6PD deficiency. We describe a preterm male neonate with G6PD deficiency who developed bilateral cataracts following an episode of neonatal sepsis and severe hemolysis necessitating an exchange blood transfusion.

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