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September 1962

Corneal Ultraviolet Phototherapy

Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;68(3):304-312. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960030308003

The low-pressure mercury vapor lamp has unique and highly desirable features for corneal ultraviolet phototherapy. The emitted rays are highly germicidal,1 virtually monochromatic at 2,537 A.,1 and totally absorbed by the cornea2 with low keratitis effect.3 Previous work in corneal ultraviolet phototherapy utilized nonspecific polychromatic radiation which is less germicidal and more toxic than 2,537 A., but good results were still frequently obtained.4,5 The corneal phototherapeutic use of the low-pressure mercury vapor lamp has not been previously reported in the literature. This paper will present: (1) the theoretical basis of corneal ultraviolet phototherapy and the advantages of using this lamp by comparing its only significant spectral radiation, 2,537 A., with the ideal phototherapeutic wavelength, and (2) a clinical and histological study of eyes irradiated by this lamp.

I. Theoretical Basis for Corneal Ultraviolet Phototherapy  The theoretically ideal wavelength for corneal ultraviolet phototherapy should have the following