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November 23, 1912

TEMPORARY TOXIC AMAUROSIS AND PARALYSIS FOLLOWING INJECTION OF ETHYL ALCOHOL INTO A CHRONIC EMPYEMA SINUS

Author Affiliations

New York Lecturer on Gynecology, New York Polyclinic Medical School and Hospital; Cystoscopist, Harlem Hospital

JAMA. 1912;LIX(21):1884-1885. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270110298017
Abstract

Alcohol amaurosis is usually due to chronic intoxication, following the abuse of distilled and malt liquors.

Acute alcohol amaurosis is comparatively rare, but even in these so-called acute cases, total or partial blindness has followed when whisky in excess has been drunk for several weeks. Methyl alcohol taken in toxic dose has produced blindness within twenty-four hours. De Schweinitz1 says:

"In so far as the visual effects are concerned the acute cases may be dismissed with comparatively short notice, inasmuch as, except in rare instances, the visual phenomena are of temporary character, and amblyopia, if it occurs at all, is exceedingly uncommon. The ocular symptoms consist chiefly in paresis of one or other of the external ocular muscles.... Now and then acute alcoholism seems to have been responsible for almost complete blindness without ophthalnioscopic change, rapidly disappearing under antiphlogistic treatment and total abstinence."

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