Acute reversible lens opacity: Caused by drugs, cold, anoxia, asphyxia, stress, death and dehydration

F. T. Fraunfelder, R. P. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Acute experimental lens opacities reported to be caused by narcotics, phenothiazines, epinephrine, anoxia, and certain types of lens opacities induced by death, asphyxia, cold or stress are prevented by closure of the animal's eyelids. An unawareness of the importance of eyelid position has led to confusion concerning the pathogenesis of many of these lens changes. Most of these experimental cataracts can be classified into a single group with common characteristics, for which we propose the term "acute reversible lens opacity". The opacity is a reversible loss of transparency of the superficial anterior lens cortex which is prevented by closure of the eyelids. This type of cataract may be produced by mechanical methods or agents which interfere with lid closure or depress the blink reflex. The lens opacity may regress even though the initiating stimulus is maintained. Although dehydration of the aqueous humor and lens is the most important factor in development of the lens transparency change, there are other factors which also play a role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1970
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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