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J Chin Med Assoc. 2006 Oct;69(10):472-7.

Conjunctival biopsy in sarcoidosis.

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  • 1Uveitis Service, Department of Ophthalmology, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. ym_chang@vghtpe.gov.tw



Conjunctival biopsy is considered to be a simple, safe and specific diagnostic procedure for sarcoidosis. This study was designed to determine the value of this procedure in Taiwan.


This study was conducted from December 2003 to April 2005 at the uveitis clinic of Taipei Veterans General Hospital. Blind sampling was conducted, obtaining a biopsy sample measuring 1 cm long by 3 mm wide from both lower fornices. A positive result was defined as the presence of non-caseating granuloma when other granuloma-forming processes had been excluded.


Twenty-nine patients (7 men, 22 women) were enrolled. Mean age at diagnosis was 47.8 +/- 12.4 years. The most common initial symptom was eye-related problems in 19 (65.5%) patients. Of 58 biopsies, 15 (25.9%) specimens in 11 (37.9%) patients proved to be positive. Four patients experienced bilateral involvement; 7 patients had unilateral involvement. No prominent conjunctival nodules or follicles were noted. Gender, age, presence of uveitis, initial symptoms, and chest condition comparisons revealed no association between positive and negative conjunctival biopsies.


Blind and bilateral conjunctival biopsy, due to its ease, safety and specificity, could be the first biopsy inpatients with clinical or chest X-ray abnormalities suggesting sarcoidosis. None of our patients with positive biopsy had nodular lesions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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