Conjunctival brush cytology

K. Tsubota, K. Kajiwara, S. Ugajin, T. Hasegawa

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72 Citations (Scopus)


In order to collect conjunctival cells efficiently, we developed a special brush that is a modification of the Cytobrush used in cervical cytology. The conjunctival brush is small and made of nylon bristles. Cells collected by these brushes were rinsed into a buffered solution, from which filter preparations were made. This technique produced adequately cellular samples from temporal bulbar conjunctiva; these preparations stained well with the Papanicolaou stain. Under normal conditions, three cell types were observed in the brushing samples; one was the polygonal epithelial cell, the second type was a small rounded cell, and the third type was a mucus-secreting goblet cell. Samples from dry-eyed patients contained keratinized cells with or without a decrease in goblet cells. Elongated cells were seen in samples from postirradiation and postoperative patients. Irritation caused by the brushing was of the same intensity as irritation caused by collecting cytologic specimens by impression or by the use of cotton swabs. These findings suggest that brushing cytology of the conjunctiva is a relatively noninvasive technique and can provide valuable information for evaluation of conjunctival conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-235
Number of pages3
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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