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NCP Bull. 1991 Apr-Jun:4-5.

Conjunctival impression cytology: bright hope of children.

[No authors listed]



A practical method of screening for pre-clinical xerophthalmia due to vitamin A deficiency, called conjunctival impression cytology (CIC), is described as it is being used in a training stage in the Philippines. The noninvasive technic consists of touching the conjunctiva with a filter paper disc, and fixing and staining the disc on a slide for histology. Normally goblet cells with mucin spots are seen among sheets of epithelial cells. In abnormal conjunctiva from vitamin A deficient individuals, the epithelial cells are enlarged, and goblet cells are lacking. These specimens may be obtained from areas of the conjunctiva that appear clinically normal. The equipment needed is millipore paper, a hand-held suction pump with 5 feet of tubing, tissue or gauze, screw-top vials, labels, fixative, Papanicolaou stain, and a microscope. Vitamin A supplements can be given to affected children, or to the whole population at risk. With CIC training materials donated by International Center for Epidemiologic and Preventive Ophthalmology (ICEPO) at the Wilmer Institute, and the School of Hygiene and Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, the 1st training class was certified by the Nutrition Center of the Philippines. Twice yearly training of physicians and technologists has been recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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