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Histology of spheroidal degeneration of the cornea in Labrador.
  1. G. J. Johnson and
  2. M. Overall


    Nine specimens of the corneas of patients from Labrador and Northern Newfoundland affected by spheroidal degeneration (climatic droplet keratopathy) have been examined microscopically. Histochemical stains confirmed studies of similar corneal degenerations from other geographical areas that the droplets contain a protein which does not have all the characteristic properties of elastic tissue. Staining compatible in some instances with fibrin and "fibrinoid" was found. By immunoperoxidase techniques the droplets were located in the zones of greatest concentration of various plasma constituents, especially albumin and immunoglobulins G and A. Reasons are given why the abnormal deposits are not thought to be derived directly from corneal collagen. It is suggested that some of the plasma proteins, which are known to be diffusing through the cornea from the limbal vessels under normal conditions are acted upon by the ultraviolet light reflected from the ice of Labrador and degraded so that they accumulate in the superficial stroma.

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