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Article
December 1953

EFFECTS OF BETA IRRADIATION ON THE RABBIT LENS

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK
From the Department of Ophthalmology and the Radiological Research Laboratory, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Institute of Ophthalmology, Presbyterian Hospital.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1953;50(6):727-736. doi:10.1001/archopht.1953.00920030738008
Abstract

KNOWLEDGE of early radiation-induced changes in the lens epithelium and of their significance for the development of cataractous lesions has advanced greatly in recent years. The high radiosensitivity of the germinative zone of the lens epithelium, particularly of the cell nuclei in this area, has been demonstrated in x-ray studies1; in other experimental series the slow progression of damage wrought by various forms of ionizing radiation has been followed, from the microscopically visible changes in the chromatin material of the nuclei to the ophthalmoscopically distinguishable opacities in the lens. On the basis of this enriched understanding of the pathogenesis of radiation cataract, the present study of the effects of beta particles on the lens was undertaken.

Although ophthalmologists who have used and recommended beta-ray therapy for various diseases of the eye2 have been aware of the danger to the lens when the doses of radiation have had to

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