Conjunctival surface damage distribution in keratoconjunctivitis sicca. An impression cytology study

Ophthalmologica. 1990;200(4):170-6. doi: 10.1159/000310101.


Impression cytology was used to study the ocular surface of 32 eyes with keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Among these eyes, on the basis of the results of the Schirmer I test, two groups of eyes have been identified. The first group with Schirmer test less than 5.5 mm/5 min showed decreased concentration of goblet cells and increased cytoplasm/nucleus ratio on all the areas of the bulbar conjunctiva. The second group, with Schirmer test greater than 5.5 mm/5 min, showed similar changes to be localized in the interpalpebral bulbar conjunctiva only, while the eye surface protected by the lids was almost normal. These observations suggest a pathogenetic role of tear evaporation in eyes with tear film instability even in the presence of a 'theoretically' normal tear production.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conjunctival Diseases / etiology
  • Conjunctival Diseases / pathology*
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratoconjunctivitis / pathology*
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca / complications
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca / metabolism
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation
  • Tears / metabolism