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Impression cytology in rigid gas permeable contact lens wearers

Background: Impression cytology is a technique used to evaluate alterations on conjunctival surface cells. However, the method is not popular among eye care practitioners and thus limited data is available in the literature.

Aims and Objectives: This study evaluates changes in the tarsal conjuntival cells following continuous wear rigid gas permeable contact lens (CWRGP) using impression cytology technique.

Methods: Twenty subjects aged between 19 to 23 years were fitted with CWRGP. Eleven (55%) of them succeeded in wearing the lens continuously till the third month. Thirty non-lens wearing subjects were recruited as controls. Impression cytology was performed at baseline and after 3 months of wearing CWRGP. The cytological changes were graded according to Saini Grading Scale.

Results: All 11 RGP wearing subjects showed Saini Grade 1 staining at baseline. At 3 months, 10 (91%) of them showed features of grade 1 and 1 demonstrated of grade 2 features with inflammatory cells.. Twenty-nine (29, 97%) of control subjects showed grade 1 at baseline and 3 months. No significant difference was found in the appearance of conjunctival cells between both groups at visit 1 and the 3 month visit (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.470).

Conclusion: The wearing of CWRGP for 3 months did not cause notable changes in the tarsal conjunctiva. Impression cytology should be considered as a diagnostic tool to investigate alterations on ocular surface and to improve the management of contact lens patients

Author(s): Bashirah Ishak , Bariah Mohd-Ali, Norhani Mohidin

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