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February 1957

Heparin in Senile Macular DegenerationPreliminary Report

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1957;57(2):190-199. doi:10.1001/archopht.1957.00930050198005

Recent investigations indicate that one of the major factors in the development of atherosclerosis is the state of the circulating blood lipids, or, more precisely, of the blood lipoproteins.1,2 Heparin apparently plays a major role in the degradation or interconversion of lipoproteins from larger to smaller molecules, during their serum transport phase.3,4 It has been postulated that endogenous heparin may be involved in a homeostatic mechanism controlling the serum transport phase of fat metabolism, similarly as insulin does in carbohydrate metabolism.5,6 Because of its fat-clearing, or lipemia-clearing, action heparin is being used as an antiatherogenic agent; this represents a new approach to the therapy of atherosclerosis. Engelberg7 has suggested that heparin might be of value in the treatment of eye conditions associated with arteriosclerosis. Maumenee8 reviewed some of the present concepts of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and concluded: "One encouraging lead has emerged from the

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