IT IS WELL known that cataract may result from exposure to ionizing radiations,1 but the pathogenesis of the lesion is not fully understood. Since opacification of the lens is also produced by a variety of chemical, metabolic and endocrine disorders,2 the biochemical disturbances resulting from whole-body irradiation3 might be expected to contribute to cataractogenic effects. Were the lens injured indirectly in this way, the threshold cataract-inducing dose of radiation would depend in part upon the degree of general body damage, or upon the total volume of tissue irradiated. Likewise, some measure of protection against cataract formation might be afforded by shielding a part of the body or an organ, such as the spleen, which protects against other types of irradiation-induced injuries.
Because of current interest in the problem of radiation-induced cataract, experiments were undertaken to answer these questions. Groups of mice were given graded doses of x-radiation,
UPTON AC, CHRISTENBERRY KW, FURTH J. COMPARISON OF LOCAL AND SYSTEMIC EXPOSURES IN PRODUCTION OF RADIATION CATARACT. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1953;49(2):164-167. doi:10.1001/archopht.1953.00920020169005