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May 23, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(4):334. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690040038011

Occurrence of cataract following exposure of the lens to ionizing radiations has been demonstrated both in man and in experimental animals. The degree of cataract formation depends on the quality of the radiation, on the total number of roentgen units given, and on the interval of time during which the exposure is made. Thus, a specific amount of the longer roentgen rays administered in a single dose is more likely to produce cataract than the same dosage of short rays given in divided doses over a period of several days or weeks. In addition, the cataractous reaction in the lens, which becomes visible only after a variable latent period, is also dependent on the species and the age of the animal exposed to radiation. Taken together, these factors have resulted in considerable confusion concerning the ultimate occurrence of cataract, its relationship to radiation, and the fundamental cause of lens opacification.

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