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Optom Vis Sci. 2006 Jan;83(1):27-36.

Two presentations of contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC) in hydrogel lens wear: local and general.

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The Vision Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and The Institute for Eye Research (IER), Sydney, Australia.



The purpose of this study was to confirm that two distinct clinical presentations of contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC), local and general, occur in hydrogel lens wear.


Retrospective analyses of 124 CLPC events were identified. The classification of CLPC was based on location and extent of papillae. CLPC was classified as local if papillae were present in one to two areas of the tarsal conjunctiva and general if papillae occurred in three or more areas. The CLPC events were compared with an asymptomatic control group in prospective clinical trials conducted from 1993 until 2003 at two clinical sites, Australia and India. Two hundred sixteen subjects from Australia and 914 subjects from India wore either high Dk silicone hydrogel or low Dk hydrogel lenses on a 6-night (6N) or 30-night extended-wear (EW) schedule. The physiological responses of the ocular surface, including tarsal conjunctiva redness and roughness, number of papillae present, lens fit and performance, and subjective patient symptoms, were measured during each visit at each site. These variables listed were compared between local CLPC groups and asymptomatic controls and general CLPC groups and asymptomatic controls.


Two types of CLPC in hydrogel lens wearers have been confirmed. Of the 124 CLPC events, there were 61 local and 63 general events. Local and general CLPC cases reported significantly greater frequency of symptoms compared with the asymptomatic controls, in particular itching, lens awareness, secretion, and blurred vision (p < 0.1).


The classification of CLPC into two types, local and general, in hydrogel lens wear was confirmed based on presentations at both sites. This distribution of papillae between local and general CLPC may indicate separate etiologies involved in the pathogenesis of the condition.

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