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March 1944


Arch Ophthalmol. 1944;31(3):250-252. doi:10.1001/archopht.1944.00890030080012

The transparency of the crystalline lens depends on the proper utilization of nutrient material supplied by the aqueous. If for any reason there is a local deficiency of some vital constituent, the lens becomes opaque. Cataract has been reported to result from severe inanition,1 as well as acute thirst.2 Curtis and co-workers3 showed that mature cataract developed in rats maintained on a tryptophan-free diet within six to seven weeks. Recently Totter and Day4 confirmed these reports. By deprivation of cystine, cataract is produced in larvae of the salamander.5 It is possible that deficiencies in other essential amino acids will lead to cataract. Deficiency in riboflavin leads to cataract in rats.6 While vitamin D deficiency in itself does not cause cataract, tetany, which is frequently associated with rickets, is often accompanied by opacities in the lens. For example, in some instances of cataract resulting from

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