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March 1, 1965

Corticosteroid Therapy and Subcapsular Cataracts

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital, Denver.

JAMA. 1965;191(9):753. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080090067017

Posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSC) had not been described as an adverse effect of corticosteroid therapy until Black et al1 published their first report in 1960. In this and subsequent papers2,3 they suggest that PSC can be a consequence of prolonged treatment (one year or more) with high doses of corticosteroid in rheumatoid arthritis. (The terms "high," "moderate," and "low" doses in this paper refer to the ranges given in the Table and follow the arbitrary classification of Black et al.) Specifically these authors found PSC in 30 (42%) of 72 corticosteroid-treated rheumatic adults and in none of 23 adult controls. They stressed the relation of the incidence of PSC to long duration and dose level of corticosteroid therapy. Independent studies by Giles et al4 and by Crews5 tend to lend support to the findings of Black et al1-3. Giles et al4 found PSC in

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