Oral glycerol in ophthalmology. A valuable new method for the reduction of intraocular pressure

Michele Virno, Paolo Cantore, Clelia Bietti, Massimo G. Bucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results of the use of oral glycerol to reduce intraocular pressure are reported. Doses of glycerol administered orally as a 50-percent solution in 0.9-percent saline fluid, ranged from 1.0 to 1.5 gm./kg. of body weight. Its effects have been studied in 46 patients, including cases of acute angle-closure glaucoma, simple chronic glaucoma, irritative chronic glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, hemorrhagic glaucoma and, preoperatively, before intraocular surgery. The most useful application of glycerol has been in cases of acute angle-closure glaucoma in which, in all cases, intraocular pressure was reduced to about normal levels within 30 to 60 minutes. The osmotic action of glycerol has also proven useful in cases in which the intraocular pressure failed to respond to combined treatment of miotics and acetazolamide (Diamox). In types of glaucoma in which the effect of glycerol lasted four to six hours, it was possible to maintain the low intraocular pressure induced by glycerol by means of miotics or acetazolamide or a combination of miotics and acetazolamide. Oral administration, lack of toxicity, promptness and intensity of action make us hope for extended use of glycerol in all cases in which reduction of intraocular pressure is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1142
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1963

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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