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Congenital Pterygium

Virgil J. Schwartz, M.D.
JAMA. 1960;174(16):2078-2079. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.63030160011019d.
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" PTERYX" is the Greek word for wing. "Pterigion" suggests a small wing. From these nouns is derived the word "Pterygium," probably because the shape and vascularity of a pterygium resemble the wing of certain insects (Hymenoptera). This condition has been known since ancient times, being especially prevalent in hot, equatorial climates in which sun, wind, dust, and other external irritants have been regarded as important causative factors. It is a relatively common disease in the adult population of such areas. Lentino and co-workers1 reported a series of 256 patients of whom 223 were Puerto Rican, with a maximum age of 85 years, a minimum of 17, and an average of 31. Gerundo2 reported a series of 25 cases studied in Hawaii, in which the patients' ages ranged from 30 to 60 years, the only exception being a girl of 19. Kamel3 discussed therapy in a series of


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