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Curr Eye Res. 2013 Sep;38(9):917-25. doi: 10.3109/02713683.2013.794248. Epub 2013 May 28.

Specific IgE in tear fluid and features of allergic conjunctivitis.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Women's Medical University Medical Center East, Tokyo, Japan.



The level of specific class E immunoglobulins (IgE) in tear fluid is a useful diagnostic indicator for allergic conjunctivitis, but it is still unclear whether the measurement of tear fluid IgE is helpful for assessing the severity of allergic conjunctivitis. In this study, we evaluated the relation between tear fluid levels of specific IgE and features of allergic conjunctivitis.


A prospective, nonrandomized, cross-sectional study was conducted in patients with allergic conjunctivitis (n = 55, allergic group) and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects (n = 50, control group). Levels of specific IgE for cedar pollen, cat epithelium/dander and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus were measured in tear fluid with the Immfast Check J1®. A severity score (0, 1, 2 or 3) was assigned for various changes of the palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva, as well as for limbal and corneal lesions.


The levels of specific IgE for both cedar pollen, and D. pteronyssinus were significantly higher in the allergic group compared with the control group (p < 0.0001), while the level of specific IgE for cat epithelium/dander showed no significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.0777). When IgE levels were divided into four classes, the classes for both D. Pteronyssinus and cat epithelium/dander IgE were correlated with four features of allergic conjunctivitis. On the other hand, no correlation was found between the class of cedar pollen IgE and any of the features of allergic conjunctivitis.


This study demonstrated that measurement of specific IgE in tear fluid may be useful for determining the severity of allergic conjunctivitis induced by indoor allergens. Although measurement of IgE in tear fluid is only a supplemental tool for evaluating the clinical activity of allergic conjunctivitis, the test can be useful for detecting specific IgE antibodies responsible for this condition.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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