Giant papillary conjunctivitis in contact lens wearers

Am J Ophthalmol. 1977 May;83(5):697-708. doi: 10.1016/0002-9394(77)90137-4.


A syndrome that occurred in both hard and soft contact lens wearers was characterized by increased mucus, itching, decreased lens tolerance, and giant papillae in the upper tarsal conjunctiva. It developed in as few as three weeks with soft lens wearers but also occurred after months or even years of successful wear. The histology was characterized by basophils, eosinophils, and mast cells in the epithelium, and these cells as well as increased numbers of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the stroma. The syndrome may be immunologic in origin with deposits on the lenses as the antigen, and the syndrome may be a major cause of difficulty in wearing contact lenses once they have been successfully fit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens
  • Basophils / pathology
  • Conjunctivitis / diagnosis
  • Conjunctivitis / etiology*
  • Conjunctivitis / pathology
  • Contact Lenses / adverse effects*
  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic / adverse effects*
  • Eosinophils / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / immunology
  • Leukocytes / pathology
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Mast Cells / pathology
  • Plasma Cells / pathology
  • Syndrome


  • Antigens