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July 1961

The Use of Chymotrypsin in the Treatment of Dendritic Keratitis

Author Affiliations

Washington, D.C.; Newnan, Ga.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1961;66(1):61-63. doi:10.1001/archopht.1961.00960010063012

Every ophthalmologist is familiar with the typical clinical appearance of dendritic ulcer of the cornea.

Since the first description of this virus infection of the cornea as a clinical entity by Horner1 in 1871, many forms of treatment have been tried. Among the therapeutic agents reported are alcohol, potassium iodide, hydrogen peroxide, silver nitrate, trichloracetic acid, epinephrine hydrochloride under a contact glass, alkalis, vaccination, curettage, paracentesis of the anterior chamber, ultraviolet light, x-rays, cobalt, strontium90, strong solution of iodine, and U.S.P. ether. Of all of the agents mentioned ether and strong solution of iodine have proved to be the most effective. However, both of these agents result in severe discomfort for the patient and they increase rather than decrease the possibility of corneal scarring.

The therapeutic application of chymotrypsin became possible after its crystallization in 1933. It is a proteolytic enzyme extracted from mammalian pancreas and is now

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