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July 1966

Alpha Oui? ou Alpha Non?

Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;76(1):3. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.03850010005002

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This intriguing title appeared recently in a collection of "free mailing" items found after a period of absence from the office. It expresses a thought which must have occurred to many surgeons in recent years while evaluating the operative management of cataract patients.

Alpha-chymotrypsin is valuable for the extraction of presenile cataract, certain cases of cataract in younger individuals, and some cataracts secondary to uveitis or trauma. Large series of cases apparently absolve the enzyme of important deleterious effect, and the authors seem to advocate its routine use.

Any new method which is adopted routinely for surgery of senile cataract should have clear advantages over other methods. If more lenses could be removed without breaking the capsule, if vitreous loss were reduced, and if other complications were diminished, the new method should be adopted for routine use. Even if one of these could be demonstrated with certainty the use might

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