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November 1989

Functional Blindness in Photorefractive Keratectomy

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(11):1563. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070020641002

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To the Editor.  —I was disturbed to read the recent case report by McDonald et al in the May 1989 issue of the Archives, which is the first report of excellent visual results from excimer laser central photorefractive keratectomy in a human eye. The authors stated that the patient received excimer laser ablation in "a putatively blind eye" that was treated "as part of the early human safety and efficacy 'blind eye' trials under the aegis of the Investigational Device Exemption granted by the Food and Drug Administration..." They also stated they believed the patient was "organically blind" and that they would "not have treated her... had we suspected that her blindness was functional rather than physiological."Although the patient was referred to the authors as being blind in the right eye following a transsphenoidal hypophysectomy and scleral buckling procedure in 1985, their own examination revealed that her blindness was

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