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Racial differences in mydriatic action of cocaine euphthalmine and ephedrine.

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RACIAL DIFFERENCES I N MYDRIATIC ACTION O F
COCAINE, EUPHTHALMINE, AND EPHEDRINE
K. K. CHEN AND EDGAR J. POTH
Laboratory of Pharmacology, Johns Hopkins University
ONE FIGURE
In our investigation of the pupil-dilating effect of the
natural or Z-ephedrine in subjects of different races, it was
noted that the Chinese and negroes did not respond as well as
Caucasians. This led to the examination of other mydriatics
and the compilation of the present data to bring out actual
racial differences as shown by the mydriatic action of cocaine,
euphthalmine, I-ephedrine, dI-ephedrine, and d-pseudoephedrine.
The observation period was one hour, because it was found
that each drug reaches its maximal effect within sixty minutes. I n every case one or two drops of one of the solutions
was applied locally to one conjunctival sac. The transverse
diameter of the pupil was measured at the time of instillation
and at the end of one hour.
Preliminary studies in diffuse daylight uniformly bore out
the point that Caucasians are more susceptible to the mydriatic action of cocaine, euphthalmine, I-ephedrine, dZ-ephedrine,
and d-pseudoephedrine. Our next procedure was to repeat
the experiments under controlled conditions and study the
problem on a more quantitative basis. For this purpose, all
observations were made in a dark room before a standard
lamp having a light intensity of 13.3 candle power. The pupil
was measured by its image in a telescope with a filar micrometer. Ten subjects were studied from each race for each
drug. The average results are given in table 1and contrasted
in figure 1. They corroborate those obtained in diffuse
daylight.
91
AMERICAN JOURNAL O F PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, VOL. XIII, NO. 1
A P R I P J U N E , 1929
92
K. K. C H E N A N D EDGAR J. POTH
TABLE 1
Comparison of mydriatic action of cocaine, euphthaln~ine,1-ephedrine, dl-ephedrine,
and d-pseudoephedrine in Caucasians, Chinese, and negroes, one hour
after instillation, observed under colttrolled illumination
AVERAGE I N C R E A S E OF ‘ERANSI’ERSE D I A N E T E B 01 PVPIL
DRUG
I n 1 0 Caucasians
Cocaine
Euphthalmine
1-Ephedrine
dl-Ephedrine
d-Pseudoephedrine
1
I n 10 Chinese
I
I n 1 0 negroes
Mm.
Ym.
Ym.
2.0
2.2
2.2
1.7
0.8
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.3
0.2
0.3
0.2
0.3
0.2
0.1
Fig. 1 Comparison of mydriatic action of cocaine, euphthalmine, 1-ephedrine,
&ephedrine, and d-pseudoephedrine in Caucasians, Chinese, and negroes.
RACIAL DIFFERENCES I N MYnRIATIC ACTION
93
Our next object was to determine the influence of pigmentation by administering locally 0.1 to 0.5 per cent solutions of
I-ephedrine t o the eyes of rabbits of different colors-white,
black, gray, and brown. These solutions are just strong
enough to dilate the pupils of white rabbits, but not always to
a maximum, so that they may show the difference of response
in colored rabbits, if present. Contrary to our expectation,
the results do not show the same difference as in human races.
Those who are interested in the subject and the accnrate
method of measuring the pupil may consult a detailed account
of this work in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 1929, August or September number.
SUMMARY
The pupil-dilating effect of cocaine, euphthalmine, Z-ephedrine, dl-ephedrine, and d-pseudoephedrine has been compared in Caucasians, Chinese, and negroes, both in diffuse
daylight and under controlled illumination with accurate
measurements. Caucasians are the most, and negroes the
least, susceptible to the mydriatic action of the drugs under
investigation-the Chinese being intermediate.
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differences, action, racial, cocaine, ephedrin, mydriatic, euphthalmine
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