The value of radiotherapy in ophthalmology has been known for many years. The history of its development and the original experimental and clinical work have been reviewed excellently by Desjardinns.1 During recent years there has been considerable enthusiasm for the use of beta radiation in the treatment of numerous ocular lesions.* Interest in this form of radiation has been furthered by the impression that it has no harmful effects. It is the purpose of this paper to call attention to the possible harmful sequelae and the approximate dosages that will produce these changes.
GENERAL RADIATION EFFECTS
Any radiation effect is produced only by the energy that is absorbed in the irradiated tissue. Rays that pass through the tissue without loss of energy produce no effect. The result is obtained, in essence, by the ionizing effect of the rays on the cell, especially on the nucleus, but also on the
MERRIAM GR. Late Effects of Beta Radiation on the Eye. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1955;53(5):708-717. doi:10.1001/archopht.1955.00930010716016