Preoperative brush and impression cytology in ocular surface squamous neoplasms

Acta Cytol. Jan-Feb 2003;47(1):13-5. doi: 10.1159/000326469.


Objective: Preoperative cytologic diagnoses of ocular surface squamous neoplasms were evaluated and compared with histologic diagnoses.

Study design: Impression cytology (Millipore filter paper) and brush cytology were applied to 32 patients who had conjunctival neoplasms. Papanicolaou-stained cytologic preparations and hematoxylin and eosin-stained histologic sections were examined by light microscopy.

Results: The brush technique was used on 27 patients; impression cytology was applied in 5 cases. Cytologic and histologic diagnoses were concordant in 26 cases. Squamous cell carcinoma or carcinoma in situ was diagnosed in 18 and dysplasia in 4 cases. Squamous metaplasia and normal-appearing conjunctival epithelial cells were diagnosed cytologically in four cases; of those histologic diagnoses, one was pterygium and three, conjunctival nevus. Four cases revealed discrepancies between the cytologic and histologic preparations. There was one false positive result, and one case was subconjunctival invasion of basal cell carcinoma of the eyelid.

Conclusion: Impression and brush cytology are fast, cost-effective, reliable and noninvasive diagnostic tools for ocular surface squamous neoplasms. However, the brush technique has several advantages over impression cytology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma in Situ / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Child
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cytological Techniques*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / instrumentation
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity