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August 1961

The Physiological Significance of Gerontoxon

Author Affiliations

Department of Radiology, Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital (Dr. Croll).; From the Department of Ophthalmology, the Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and the Department of Medicine, the Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1961;66(2):211-213. doi:10.1001/archopht.1961.00960010213010

Gerontoxon is an abnormal change in the perilimbal areas involving both cornea and sclera, consisting of lipid deposition into the spaces between cells and intracellularly in advanced instances. An attribute of this phenomenon is its remarkable configuration which entails the full thickness of both cornea and sclera approximately 1 mm. wide and lying on both sides of the limbal area leaving the latter entirely free. Cogan and Kuwabara1 have comprehensively described these anatomical characteristics and have delineated their histochemical properties. Through their studies we have become aware that the deposits consist of cholesterol, phospholipids, and neutral fat. Tissue necrosis and atrophy are not present and the entire process appears to be a deposition of lipid substances from the blood stream.

Arcus senilis is generally considered a concomitant of the aging process and is expected in the elderly patient. That this supposition is erroneous may be easily shown through demonstration

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