[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 1994

Scleral Complications Following Beta Irradiation

Author Affiliations

New York, NY

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(8):1016. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090200018003

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


With reference to the article on scleral complications following beta irradiation by Moriarty et al1 in the July 1993 issue of the Archives, I was surprised to note that there was no mention of the surface areas exposed to beta radiation in the affected patients. Both area and dosage are important measurements in radiotherapy. This is paricularly so when treating scleral tissue that, because of its relative avascularity, is particularly vulnerable to radiation-induced ischemia.

As I stated in the letter2 cited by the authors, I have been using beta radiation in pterygium surgery for more than 20 years and have not had any scleral complications. My dosages are similar to those reported by Moriarty et al1 and I use a kidney-shaped applicator measuring 3.0×8.5 mm (approximately 26 mm2 in area), placed at the limbus.

The recent retrospective series by MacKenzie et al3 referred to by

Moriarty AP, Crawford GJ, McAllister IL, Constable IJ.  Severe corneoscleral infection: a complication of beta irradiation scleral necrosis following pterygium excision . Arch Ophthalmol . 1993;111:947-951.Article
Levine DJ.  Beta irradiation of pterygium . Ophthalmology . 1992;99:841.Article
MacKenzie FD, Hirst LW, Kynaston B, Bain C.  Recurrence rate and complications after beta irradiation for pterygia . Ophthalmology . 1991;98:1776-1781.Article