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December 1973

Eye Disease Among American Indians of the Southwest: II. Trachoma

Author Affiliations

Albuquerque, NM
From the Ophthalmology Service of the Gallup Indian Medical Center, Gallup, NM; the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco; and the Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;90(6):440-446. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000050440006

In the course of examining 2,881 eyes of southwestern American Indians with clinical trachoma, active trachoma was seen most commonly in Indians under age 20. The blinding complications occurred principally in middle-aged and older adults.

The goal of medical therapy is to lessen the activity of the second stage of trachoma to reduce scarring and pannus formation. In the most recent series of cases on the Navaho reservation, 71% of the patients responded well to therapy with trisulfapyrimidines (Triple Sulfas), and an additional 9% healed spontaneously. A rash occurred in 5.2%, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome occurred in 0.15%. The results of penetrating keratoplasty for severely scarred corneas were disappointing; only 45% of the corneas transplanted during this study are still functioning satisfactorily after six months to 4½ years.

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