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February 1935


Author Affiliations
IOWA CITYFrom the Department of Ophthalmology, State University of Iowa.
Arch Ophthalmol. 1935;13(2):227-237. doi:10.1001/archopht.1935.00840020087009

The cholesterol content of normal and cataractous crystalline lenses is an old and unsettled question. Most of the early work was fragmentary and qualitative. This paper includes a discussion of the literature and a report of data from analyses of more than one hundred cataractous lenses which, before removal, were studied with the slitlamp microscope, then extracted by the intracapsular method and carefully analyzed.

Von Graefe,1 in 1854, was the first to see and recognize cholesterol in the lens. In 1857, Mettenheimer2 reported having seen double refractive substances, which he regarded as myelin, in cataractous lenses and also in the normal lens of a 28 year old woman. From one comparatively clear lens he succeeded in isolating myelin and cholesterol by boiling in alcohol. Eleven years later, Kühne3 reported the finding of fat and cholesterol in the normal lenses of oxen, with greater quantities in