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February 1949


Arch Ophthalmol. 1949;41(2):125-150. doi:10.1001/archopht.1949.00900040130001

HEREDITY is often stressed as an important factor in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. Yet, to date, only approximately 90 pedigrees of families with glaucoma have been reported in the literature. Since these family trees are presented as isolated examples, without relation to glaucoma as a whole, they create the impression that hereditary glaucoma is rare and that it is different from the nonhereditary form.

In the course of a study of 373 cases of primary glaucoma, we were impressed by the high incidence of patients displaying familial tendencies. Fifty-one patients had one or more relatives affected with the disease. As early as 1880, Schenkl1 stated that there is hardly an ophthalmologist who has not met with several hereditary cases. In fact, many patients demonstrate their awareness of the hereditary possibilities of the disease by the questions they put to the ophthalmologist. There is obviously a discrepancy between the paucity

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