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Article
March 1949

PHARMACOLOGY AND TOXICOLOGY OF THE CORNEAContemporary Concepts

Author Affiliations

PORTLAND, ORE.
From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oregon Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1949;41(3):253-275. doi:10.1001/archopht.1949.00900040259001
Abstract

DR. FRANCIS PROCTOR was keenly interested in physiologic optics; it is appropriate, therefore, that this first lecture should concern the cornea, the most important part of the optical system of the eye. The smooth surface, regular curvature and high degree of transparency which are responsible for the optical effectiveness of the cornea are maintained free of aberration by a series of unique physical and chemical balances. These delicate balances are dependent on the functional integrity of the various corneal layers. The functions of these layers are affected in diverse ways by drugs and poisons; consequently, discussion of the pharmacology and toxicology of the cornea necessitates consideration of the layers individually, as well as in relation to each other.

In classic descriptions of corneal histology, the epithelium is considered to be most superficial, but functionally the surface layer is the precorneal film. This film must not be dismissed as a simple

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