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September 1964

Phenylthiourea Taste Testing and Glaucoma

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Ophthalmology and the Oscar Johnson Institute, Washington University School of Medicine (Drs. Becker and Morton).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;72(3):323-327. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970020323006

In population studies taste sensitivity for phenylthiourea (phenylthiocarbamide or PTC) has been found to be distributed bimodally. In Caucasian groups approximately 30% were found to be relatively insensitive to the bitter taste of PTC and were classified as nontasters.1,2 In Negroes a much lower prevalence of nontasters has been reported.3,4 Evidence has been accumulated that nontasters are homozygous for a single recessive gene.5 The ability to taste phenylthiourea has been used as a convenient genetic marker, and associations have been reported between taste insensitivity to PTC and nodular goiter,2,6 cretinism,7,8 and diabetes.9

The primary glaucomas, both angle-closure and open-angle, have been reported to be genetically determined diseases.10-13 The association between PTC taste insensitivity and primary glaucomas has been studied, and it is the subject of this report.

Method  Solutions of phenylthiourea were prepared in the manner described by Harris and Kalmus.1 Solution

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