[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 1962

Alpha-Chymotrypsin for Lens Extraction in Infants and Children

Author Affiliations

South Bend, Ind.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;68(6):730-733. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960030734006

With the discovery of the zonulytic effect of α-chymotrypsin in 1958 by Dr. Joaquin Barraquer, an important advance was made in the management of the cataractous lens. The application of this enzyme was undertaken with initial enthusiasm by ophthalmologists throughout the world. To be able to free the lens easily from the adherent zonule permitted a wider use of the intracapsular method of lens extraction than formerly had been possible, particularly in the younger age group. Many ophthalmologists have reported their experience with this enzyme in large series of cases. The literature contains many articles which generally agree that the ease of lens extraction has been increased by the use of α-chymotrypsin.1 There are fewer ruptured capsules, but the incidence of vitreous loss has not been decreased by its use. It was at first hoped that the congenital cataract patient would be greatly benefited by enzymatic zonulysis. However, the