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April 1964

Clinical Evaluation of Digitalization in Glaucoma

Author Affiliations

Fellow in the Glaucoma Consultation Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston 14, Massachusetts.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(4):500-504. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010516012

According to Simon and Bonting, the cardiac glycoside digoxin administered in its usual dosage to patients having "congenital," "juvenile," and "chronic simple" glaucoma, caused a 45% decrease in aqueous formation, also a fall in intraocular pressure which averaged 14% in "chronic simple" glaucoma.1 When digoxin was administered in combination with acetazolamide, a 65% decrease in aqueous formation was reported, whereas acetazolamide alone caused a 50% decrease. Interference with aqueous formation and lowering of intraocular pressure by digoxin and other cardiac glycosides was thought to be brought about by inhibition of the enzyme Na-K-ATPase in the ciliary processes. According to these observations, the digitalis glycosides with their reasonably low toxicity and easy mode of administration seemed to have promise as an adjunct in the treatment of glaucoma. For further evaluation of practical usefulness and effectiveness, we have accordingly made a trial of digitalization with digoxin and other digitalis glycosides as

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