The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Impression cytology advances

Ocul Surf. 2009 Apr;7(2):93-110.
Impression cytology: recent advances and applications in dry eye disease.

Lopin E, Deveney T, Asbell PA.
Department of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Impression cytology (IC) allows cells to be harvested from the ocular surface noninvasively. Superficial layers of the epithelium are removed by application of cellulose acetate filters or Biopore membranes, and the cells can be subsequently analyzed by various methods, depending on the objective of the investigation or pathology involved. IC techniques are easily learned, can be performed in an outpatient setting, and cause virtually no discomfort to the patient. IC facilitates the diagnosis of ocular surface disorders, including, among others, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, ocular surface squamous neoplasia, and ocular surface infections. During the past decade, IC has been used increasingly to assist in diagnosis of ocular surface disease, improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of ocular surface disease, and provide biomarkers to be used as outcome measures in clinical trials. Dry eye disease is one area in which IC has contributed to significant advances.
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