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March 1951


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Illinois College of Medicine and the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1951;45(3):239-250. doi:10.1001/archopht.1951.01700010245001

THIS review was first stimulated by the observation that many ocular syndromes of obscure origin involved the cornea and sclera, tissues rich in connective tissue elements. Also, the association of scleritis, episcleritis, tenonitis and iritis with the "rheumatic" diathesis had been described in the clinical literature and pointed to a common denominator which might explain the ocular and articular findings. Klemperer and his group had proposed that the connective tissues throughout the body acted as an organ which was afflicted in a number of diseases, which they called "collagen diseases." It was in these conditions that the early work with the pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisone (11-dehydro-17-hydroxy-corticosterone) produced the most dramatic results. Therefore, it seemed that a review of the development of the concept of collagen disease not only might lead to a better understanding of certain ocular conditions but also might provide a more rational basis for future

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