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May 1982

Protein Deficiency and Treatment of Xerophthalmia

Author Affiliations

From the International Center for Epidemiologic and Preventive Ophthalmology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore (Dr Sommer); the Helen Keller International, New York (Dr Sommer); the Nutritional Blindness Prevention Project, Bandung, Indonesia (Drs Sommer and Muhilal and Mr Tarwotjo); and the National Institute of Nutrition Research, Bogor, Indonesia (Dr Muhilal).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1982;100(5):785-787. doi:10.1001/archopht.1982.01030030789012

• In a controlled clinical trial of massive-dose vitamin A therapy for xerophthalmia, holo-retinol-binding protein (holo-RBP) response was related to baseline protein status. Corneal healing was more commonly delayed or transient in children with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), despite the vast majority achieving holo-RBP levels incompatible with severe corneal destruction. Correction of PEM is essential to ensuring a sustained clinical cure, and repeated massive vitamin A therapy is advisable until that occurs.

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