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To the Editor:
In the April 1965 issue of the Archives, the paper entitled, "Oral Glycerine in Cataract Surgery," by N. S. Jaffe and D. S. Light, contains the statement, "It (glycerine) is effective when given orally and causes no serious side effects."I realize their report was purposely brief; however, I do think that though the side effects are not serious, one complication, namely the possibility of death from an intracranial hemorrhage, might bear mentioning.I am not aware of any such case with glycerine yet, but the neurology literature contains several articles pertaining to this complication from other potent osmotic agents. If a patient has several adhesions between his cortical tissue and calvarium, from previous trauma or inflammation, acute dehydration from glycerine could result in shrinkage of the brain and a tear of a vessel in the area of the adhesion with a subsequent intracranial hemorrhage.One should
Coyle JT. ORAL GLYCERINE IN CATARACT SURGERY. Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;74(3):442. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970040444032