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January 1960

Alpha-Chymotrypsin in Cataract SurgeryA Preliminary Report of Experiences with One Hundred Thirty-Two Cases

Author Affiliations

New York
From The Department of Research, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1960;63(1):122-127. doi:10.1001/archopht.1960.00950020124018

α-Chymotrypsin, a proteolytic enzyme derived from bovine pancreas, has received widespread attention in cataract surgery during the past two years. There have been increasingly numerous reports in the literature revealing interesting data from different clinics. As these data accumulate, we will undoubtedly be able to appraise more accurately the indications, contraindications, and side-effects of the chemical zonulysis, and thereby assess its true value.

The mechanism of the action of α-chymotrypsin is not as yet entirely clear. Barraquer2 has reported that there is evidently a specificity of action on the zonules of the lens and that other intraocular structures remain unaffected. On the other hand, after basic experimentation, Salmony13 is of the opinion that the "effect of the enzyme is not restricted specifically to the zonule... and it is clear that the enzyme is capable of attacking other structures such as the vitreous body." I believe the answer lies

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