THE PURPOSE of this paper is to acquaint ophthalmologists with a group of physiologic antibiotics, which have hitherto not been used in treatment of ocular infections, and which appear to have certain advantages over medicaments now in general use. This group consists of the lower fatty acids, which occur in the human body. In this preliminary report, the sodium salt of one of these fatty acids, sodium propionate (C2H5COONa), was selected for study. While this paper is based essentially on clinical observations, a certain amount of laboratory investigation concerning sodium propionate has been made, and more is in progress. The drug has been used in about 400 cases of infections of the lids, conjunctiva and cornea, and the results so far have proved of sufficient promise to merit further trial.
The use of fatty acids in the treatment of mycotic infections was first introduced by Peck