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January 1968

Congenital Alacrima

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC; Macon, Ga
From the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC. Dr. Smith was formerly a special fellow in ophthalmic pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology on a fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1968;79(1):45-48. doi:10.1001/archopht.1968.03850040047013

DEFICIENT lacrimal secretion occurs much more commonly in adults than in children. Alacrima as a congenital defect is distinctly unusual. Sjögren1 found only 14 cases in the literature up to 1952. The only case of unilateral congenital alacrima was reported in 1884 by Morton.2 The case of unilateral lacrimal insufficiency described below is presented because of the infrequency of the condition.

Report of a Case 

Clinical History.  —A 10-year-old Negro boy was first seen in July 1965 with the complaint of pain and photophobia involving the right eye. This eye was said to have an abnormal appearance beginning a few weeks after birth. Tears had never been seen in the right eye after either psychic or painful stimuli. The left eye responded in a normal fashion. There was no family history of a similar condition.At the time of initial examination (Fig 1), the lids were normal. The

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