Difference between revisions of "Impression Cytology"

From EyeWiki
 
(12 intermediate revisions by 3 users not shown)
Line 2: Line 2:
 
|Authors=Gunjan.Saluja
 
|Authors=Gunjan.Saluja
 
|Category=Cornea/External Disease, Oncology/Pathology
 
|Category=Cornea/External Disease, Oncology/Pathology
|Assigned editor=Nataliya.Pokeza
+
|Assigned editor=Patricia Chevez-Barrios
|Reviewer=Gunjan.Saluja
+
|Reviewer=Vivian.Lee
|Date reviewed=December 15, 2018
+
|Date reviewed=September 15, 2020
 +
|Article status=Up to Date
 +
|Meta description=Review of a technique for collecting epithelia from the ocular surface for histologic examination.
 
}}
 
}}
 
 
==Impression cytology==
 
==Impression cytology==
  
 
=Introduction=
 
=Introduction=
The technique of impression cytology was established by Egbert et al in 1977 for studying goblet cells.<ref name="egbert1">Egbert PR, Lauber S, Maurice DM. A simple conjunctival biopsy. Am J Ophthalmol 1977;84:798–801</ref> The basic principle of impression cytology is application of cellulose acetate filter paper to the ocular surface for collection of superficial layers lining the ocular surface following which histological, immunohistological or molecular analysis of the cells can be done. Impression cytology is a very useful tool for assessing ocular surface in various dry eye disorders, such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), cicatricial ocular pemphigoid and vitamin A deficiency.
+
The technique of impression cytology was established by Egbert et al in 1977 for studying goblet cells.<ref name="egbert1">Egbert PR, Lauber S, Maurice DM. A simple conjunctival biopsy. Am J Ophthalmol 1977;84:798–801</ref> The basic principle of impression cytology is the application of cellulose acetate filter paper to the ocular surface for the collection of superficial layers lining the ocular surface following which histological, immunohistological, or molecular analysis of the cells can be done. Impression cytology is a very useful, relatively non-invasive tool for assessing ocular surface in various dry eye disorders, such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), cicatricial ocular pemphigoid, and vitamin A deficiency.
  
 
==Indications==
 
==Indications==
Line 19: Line 20:
 
!Neoplasia   
 
!Neoplasia   
 
|-
 
|-
|Keratoconjunctivitis sicca||Conjunctival sqaumous metaplasia
+
|Keratoconjunctivitis sicca||Conjunctival squamous metaplasia
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Atopic keratoconjunctivitis||Ocular surface squamous neoplasia diagnosis and followup
 
|Atopic keratoconjunctivitis||Ocular surface squamous neoplasia diagnosis and followup
Line 39: Line 40:
 
|Ocular surface changes after excimer laser phototherapeutic keratectomy in patients with corneal dystrophy ||
 
|Ocular surface changes after excimer laser phototherapeutic keratectomy in patients with corneal dystrophy ||
 
|-||
 
|-||
|Demonstration of cyst and trophozoite of acanthamoeba.||
+
|Demonstration of cyst and trophozoite of acanthamoeba.||
 
|-||
 
|-||
|Assists diagnosis of viral and chlamydial infections||
+
|Assists diagnosis of viral and chlamydial infections||
 
|- ||
 
|- ||
 
|Demonstration of conjunctival changes in cystic fibrosis||
 
|Demonstration of conjunctival changes in cystic fibrosis||
Line 54: Line 55:
  
 
==Relevant anatomy==
 
==Relevant anatomy==
Conjunctiva is a fine, translucent mucous membrane which covers the anterior surface of eyeball and posterior side of the eyelids and then becomes continuous with the corneal epithelium. Conjunctival goblet cells are found throughout conjunctiva lying in between cells of epithelium and arise from basal layer of epithelium they gradually enlarge and become larger as they reach the surface. These mucin secreting goblet cells are more concentrated inferonasal .
+
Conjunctiva is a fine, translucent mucous membrane that covers the anterior surface of the globe and posterior side of the eyelids and is continuous with the corneal epithelium. Conjunctival goblet cells are found throughout the conjunctiva, residing between the epithelial cells, arising from the basal layer of the epithelium, where they gradually enlarge as they reach the surface. These mucin secreting goblet cells are more concentrated in the inferonasal quadrant.
Chronic inflammation and severe dry eyes causes  destruction of goblet cells and in cases of limbal stem cell deficiency there is conjunctivalisation of cornea and goblet cells can be demonstrated on the corneal surface.
+
Chronic inflammation and severe dry eyes cause destruction of goblet cells; and in cases of limbal stem cell deficiency, there is conjunctivalisation of the cornea, where goblet cells can be seen on the corneal surface.
  
 
=Technique of impression cytology=
 
=Technique of impression cytology=
  
 
===Patient Preparation===  
 
===Patient Preparation===  
Impression cytology is performed under topical anaesthesia (eg-proparacaine 0.5%) although can also be performed without topical anaesthesia. Excessive tears or medications should be wiped away from the area to be sampled.
+
Impression cytology is performed under topical anesthesia (eg-proparacaine 0.5%) although it can be performed without topical anesthesia as well. It is critical to dry the area of interest as much as possible to maximize yield. Therefore, excessive tears or medications should be wiped away from the area to be sampled.
  
 
===Filter paper Preparation===  
 
===Filter paper Preparation===  
Cellulose acetate filter paper/millimeter filter paper with pore size 0.22 mm is used it removes mucous secretions as well as the sheets of epithelial cells and goblet cells from the conjunctival surface. Filter paper is trimmed into 5mm strips with one end square and other end tapering.
+
The type of filter paper used should be selected based on the purpose of the study. Yield increases with larger pores but cell detail is diminished. On the other hand, yield diminishes with smaller pores but cell detail is better preserved. As such, cellulose acetate filter paper/millimeter filter paper with a pore size 0.22 mm is often employed since it renders the best results. Filter paper is typically trimmed into 5mm strips with one end square and the other end tapered. The surface of the paper is marked before applying on the ocular surface for orientation. The paper removes mucous secretions as well as the sheets of epithelial cells and goblet cells from the conjunctival surface.  
 
 
Surface of paper is marked before applying on the ocular surface .
 
  
 
===Specimen collection===  
 
===Specimen collection===  
Egbert et al used Millipore filters to collect conjunctival specimens, which were then air dried and stained with periodic acid Schiff (PAS) and haematoxylin, Tseng<ref name="tseng3">Tseng SCG. Staging of conjunctival squamous metaplasia by impression cytology. Ophthalmology 1985;92:728–33.</ref> modified this technique and used 5mm cellulose acetate filter paper for sample collection. After instilling topical anaesthetic agent the marked filter paper strip is gently pressed with glass rod on area to be sampled for 5-10 sec. During the period of contact it is important that the lids are held away from the paper and filter paper is not allowed to be wetted by tear fluid as if the paper gets wet, unduely athe yield of cells will be poor.
+
Egbert et al used Millipore filters to collect conjunctival specimens, which were then air-dried and stained with periodic acid Schiff (PAS) and hematoxylin. Tseng<ref name="tseng3">Tseng SCG. Staging of conjunctival squamous metaplasia by impression cytology. Ophthalmology 1985;92:728–33.</ref> subsequently modified this technique, employing 5mm cellulose acetate filter paper for sample collection. After instilling a topical anesthetic agent, the marked filter paper strip is gently pressed with a glass rod or tip of a Goldmann applanator over the area to be sampled for 5-10 sec. During the period of contact, it is important that the lids are held away from the paper, and filter paper is not allowed to be wetted by tear fluid. If the paper gets wet, the yield of cells will be poor.
  
 
===Preparation of staining solutions===
 
===Preparation of staining solutions===
Staining solutions used in impression cytology include Gill’s haematoxylin, modified OG-6,Scott’s tap water substitute.  
+
Staining solutions used in impression cytology include Gill’s hematoxylin, modified OG-6, Scott’s tap water substitute.  
  
Gill’s haematoxylin <ref name="gill4">Gill GW, Frost JK, Miller KA A new formula for a half-oxidized hematoxylin solution that neither overstains nor requires differentiation. Acta Cytol. 1974 Jul-Aug; 18(4):300-11.</ref> is prepared by combining 365 ml of distilled water, 125 ml of ethylene glycol, 1 g of anhydrous haematoxylin, 0.1 g of sodium iodate, 8.8 g of aluminium sulphate, and 10 ml of glacial acetic acid. The chemicals are stirred for 1 hour on a magnetic mixer at room temperature and the final solution is filtered through Whatman No 1 filter paper before using it for the first time.  
+
Gill’s hematoxylin <ref name="gill4">Gill GW, Frost JK, Miller KA A new formula for a half-oxidized hematoxylin solution that neither overstains nor requires differentiation. Acta Cytol. 1974 Jul-Aug; 18(4):300-11.</ref> is prepared by combining 365 ml of distilled water, 125 ml of ethylene glycol, 1 g of anhydrous hematoxylin, 0.1 g of sodium iodate, 8.8 g of aluminum sulfate, and 10 ml of glacial acetic acid. The chemicals are stirred for 1 hour on a magnetic mixer at room temperature and the final solution is filtered through Whatman No 1 filter paper before using it for the first time.  
 
Scott’s tap water substitute consists of 1 g sodium bicarbonate and 5 g magnesium sulfate, anhydrous or 10 g magnesium sulfate, crystalline in 500 ml of tap water. The pH of this solution is 8.02.  
 
Scott’s tap water substitute consists of 1 g sodium bicarbonate and 5 g magnesium sulfate, anhydrous or 10 g magnesium sulfate, crystalline in 500 ml of tap water. The pH of this solution is 8.02.  
 
 
Modified orange G  is made of 10 ml orange G, 10% total dye content (TDC) aqueous solution combined with 490 ml of 95% ethyl alcohol and 0.075 g phosphotungstic acid.
 
Modified orange G  is made of 10 ml orange G, 10% total dye content (TDC) aqueous solution combined with 490 ml of 95% ethyl alcohol and 0.075 g phosphotungstic acid.
  
 
==Staining technique==
 
==Staining technique==
Various staining techniques are followed depending on the solutions used. A simplified description of staining technique most commonly practiced  is described below:
+
Various staining techniques have been delineated depending on the solutions used. A simplified description of the staining technique most commonly practiced  is described below:
The sample is immediately transferred into coplin jar containing 95% ethyl alcohol for fixation, fixation is necessary to inhibit autolysis and bacterial contamination and to provide conditions that will enhance the effects of various biological dyes   
+
The sample is immediately transferred into a Coplin jar containing 95% ethyl alcohol for fixation. Fixation is necessary to inhibit autolysis and bacterial contamination and to provide conditions that will enhance the effects of the various biological dyes.  
Filter paper is then clipped on to glass slide keeping marked surface upward for staining .
+
Filter paper is then clipped onto to glass slide keeping the marked surface upward for staining.
Firstly slide with filter paper is dipped in haematoxylin stain followed by eosin stain for 30 seconds.Hematoxylin stains cell nuclei a blue-black color resulting in enhanced observation of the epithelial cells. Dehydration is done using butyl alcohol
+
The slide is then dipped in hematoxylin stain followed by eosin stain for 30 seconds. Hematoxylin stains cell nuclei a blue-black color, allowing for microscopic examination. Dehydration is done using butyl alcohol. Clearing is then done in Coplin jar with an equal amount of butyl alcohol and xylene.
Clearing is then done in capolin jar with equal amount of butyl alcohol and xylene
+
The slide is then left overnight in xylene to make the filter paper transparent.
The slide is then left overnight in xylene for transparency of filter paper.
 
  
 
==Special  Techniques==  
 
==Special  Techniques==  
Special techniques have been devised for studying the specimens by electron microscopy in which the specimen on cellulose acetate paper is fixed in 4% phosphate buffered formaldehyde with 1% glutaraldehyde and ruthenium red dye and is post fixed in buffered osmium fixative,it is dehydrated and embedded in resin.<ref name="maskin5">Maskin SL, Bodé DD  Electron microscopy of impression-acquired conjunctival epithelial cells.Ophthalmology. 1986 Dec; 93(12):1518-23.</ref>
+
Special techniques have been devised for studying specimens by electron microscopy in which the specimen on cellulose acetate paper is fixed in 4% phosphate-buffered formaldehyde with 1% glutaraldehyde and ruthenium red dye and is postfixed in buffered osmium fixative. It is dehydrated and embedded in resin.<ref name="maskin5">Maskin SL, Bodé DD  Electron microscopy of impression-acquired conjunctival epithelial cells.Ophthalmology. 1986 Dec; 93(12):1518-23.</ref>
For immunohistochemical staining specimen is collected on a pure nitrocellulose membrane which was then fixed with a spray fixative and transferred on to a poly-L-lysine coated glass slide, and dried. The slide is then placed in acetone for 1 hour with continuous agitation to dissolve the filter membrane slide is then washed for 5 minutes in tap water, and subjected to cellulose digestion for 2 hours at 37°C to remove residual membrane material before proceeding to immunocytochemical staining,this is done so because using xylene for digestion causes destruction of all cell surface antigens.<ref name="krenzer6">Krenzer KL, Freddo TF Cytokeratin expression in normal human bulbar conjunctiva obtained by impression cytology.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1997 Jan; 38(1):142-52.</ref>
+
For immunohistochemical staining, the specimen is collected on a pure nitrocellulose membrane, then fixed with a spray fixative, and transferred onto a poly-L-lysine coated glass slide, and dried. The slide is subsequently placed in acetone for 1 hour with continuous agitation to dissolve the filter membrane. The slide is then washed for 5 minutes with tap water, and subjected to cellulose digestion for 2 hours at 37°C to remove residual membrane material before proceeding to immunocytochemical staining. Xylene for digestion is avoided since it causes destruction of all cell surface antigens.<ref name="krenzer6">Krenzer KL, Freddo TF Cytokeratin expression in normal human bulbar conjunctiva obtained by impression cytology.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1997 Jan; 38(1):142-52.</ref> Modifications in this technique help to study cytokeratin expression in the bulbar conjunctiva for instance.
 
 
Interpretation: Normal cells are flat with a prominent nucleus and have a low nuclear cytoplasmic ratio.Limbal epithelial cells are samller,densely packed and have a higher nucleus cytoplasmic ratio.
 
  
Decrease in goblet cells in both palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva is suggestive of intrinsic ocular surface disease like ocular cicatricial  pemphigoid, Stevens Johnson syndrome, or severe chemical burns.<ref name="nelson7">Nelson JD, Wright JC. Conjunctival goblet cell densities in ocular surface disease. Arch Ophthalmol 1984;102:1049–51.</ref> Presence of inflammatory cells is suggestive of active inflammation.
+
Interpretation: Normal cells are flat with a prominent nucleus with a low nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio. Limbal epithelial cells are smaller, more densely packed, and have a higher nucleus-cytoplasmic ratio.
  
Modifications in the impression cytology technique helps to study cytokeratin expression in bulbar conjunctiva .
+
A decrease in goblet cells in both palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva is suggestive of intrinsic ocular surface disease like ocular cicatricial  pemphigoid, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or severe chemical burns.<ref name="nelson7">Nelson JD, Wright JC. Conjunctival goblet cell densities in ocular surface disease. Arch Ophthalmol 1984;102:1049–51.</ref> The presence of inflammatory cells is suggestive of active inflammation.
  
 
== Advantage ==
 
== Advantage ==
The various advantages of impression cytology are as follows:
+
Advantages of impression cytology are as follows:
* Impression cytology is an ideal method for diagnosing ocular surface disorder
+
* Ability to diagnose ocular surface disorders
* Simple to perform and non invasive
+
* Simple to perform and non-invasive
* Causes minimal discomfort to patient
+
* Causes minimal discomfort to the patient
* Multiple samples can be obtained in one sitting.
+
* Multiple samples can be obtained in one sitting
  
 
==Limitations==
 
==Limitations==
 
Limitations of impression cytology are:
 
Limitations of impression cytology are:
* Impression cytology is time consuming and cumbersome procedure
+
* May be a time-consuming and cumbersome procedure
* It is not yet a routine diagnostic tool
+
* Not yet a routine diagnostic tool
* Impression cytology requires expert ocular pathologist, microbiologist and ophthalmologist
+
* Requires expert ocular pathologist, microbiologist, and ophthalmologist
 
* Cannot differentiate between dysplasia and invasive squamous cell carcinoma
 
* Cannot differentiate between dysplasia and invasive squamous cell carcinoma
  
 
==Predictability==
 
==Predictability==
Impression cytology has 80% accuracy for predicting the histological diagnosis of OSSN<ref name="tole8">Tole DM, McKelvie PA, Daniell M. Reliability of impression cytology for the diagnosis of ocular surface squamous neoplasia employing the bio pore membrane. Br J Ophthalmol. 2001 Feb;85(2):154-8.</ref> and has 77% predictability rate for moderate dysplasia.<ref name="nolan9">Nolan GR, Hirst LW, Wright RJ, et al. Application of impression cytology to the diagnosis of conjunctival neoplasms. Diagn Cytopathol. 1994;11(30:246-9.</ref> In acanthamoeba keratitis the yield can be as high as 94.6%.<ref name="kanavi10">Kanavi MR, Hosseini B, Javadi M, Rakhshani N, Javadi MA. Impression cytology in eyes with clinical and confocal scan features of acanthamoeba keratitis. J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2013 Jul;8(3):207-12.</ref>
+
Impression cytology has 80% accuracy for predicting the histological diagnosis of OSSN<ref name="tole8">Tole DM, McKelvie PA, Daniell M. Reliability of impression cytology for the diagnosis of ocular surface squamous neoplasia employing the bio pore membrane. Br J Ophthalmol. 2001 Feb;85(2):154-8.</ref> and has 77% predictability rate for moderate dysplasia.<ref name="nolan9">Nolan GR, Hirst LW, Wright RJ, et al. Application of impression cytology to the diagnosis of conjunctival neoplasms. Diagn Cytopathol. 1994;11(30:246-9.</ref> In acanthamoeba keratitis, the yield can be as high as 94.6%.<ref name="kanavi10">Kanavi MR, Hosseini B, Javadi M, Rakhshani N, Javadi MA. Impression cytology in eyes with clinical and confocal scan features of acanthamoeba keratitis. J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2013 Jul;8(3):207-12.</ref>
  
 
= References =
 
= References =
 
<references />
 
<references />

Latest revision as of 14:54, December 7, 2020

This page was enrolled in the International Ophthalmologists contest.

Assigned editor:
Review:
Assigned status Update Pending
 by Vivian Lee, MD on September 15, 2020.


Impression cytology

Introduction

The technique of impression cytology was established by Egbert et al in 1977 for studying goblet cells.[1] The basic principle of impression cytology is the application of cellulose acetate filter paper to the ocular surface for the collection of superficial layers lining the ocular surface following which histological, immunohistological, or molecular analysis of the cells can be done. Impression cytology is a very useful, relatively non-invasive tool for assessing ocular surface in various dry eye disorders, such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), cicatricial ocular pemphigoid, and vitamin A deficiency.

Indications

Table 1: Indications of impression cytology
Ocular surface disorders Neoplasia
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca Conjunctival squamous metaplasia
Atopic keratoconjunctivitis Ocular surface squamous neoplasia diagnosis and followup
Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis Conjunctival melanosis
Dry eye syndrome
Vitamin A deficiency
Stem cell deficiency
Ocualr Cicatricial pemphigoid
Superior limbic keratoconjunctivits
Mucopolysaccharidoses
Ocular surface changes after excimer laser phototherapeutic keratectomy in patients with corneal dystrophy
Demonstration of cyst and trophozoite of acanthamoeba.
Assists diagnosis of viral and chlamydial infections
Demonstration of conjunctival changes in cystic fibrosis
Filtering bleb
Contact lens wearing status

Impression cytology is used for diagnosing a large number of ocular surface disorders and neoplasia. The various indications of impression cytology are summarized in Table 1.[2]

Relevant anatomy

Conjunctiva is a fine, translucent mucous membrane that covers the anterior surface of the globe and posterior side of the eyelids and is continuous with the corneal epithelium. Conjunctival goblet cells are found throughout the conjunctiva, residing between the epithelial cells, arising from the basal layer of the epithelium, where they gradually enlarge as they reach the surface. These mucin secreting goblet cells are more concentrated in the inferonasal quadrant. Chronic inflammation and severe dry eyes cause destruction of goblet cells; and in cases of limbal stem cell deficiency, there is conjunctivalisation of the cornea, where goblet cells can be seen on the corneal surface.

Technique of impression cytology

Patient Preparation

Impression cytology is performed under topical anesthesia (eg-proparacaine 0.5%) although it can be performed without topical anesthesia as well. It is critical to dry the area of interest as much as possible to maximize yield. Therefore, excessive tears or medications should be wiped away from the area to be sampled.

Filter paper Preparation

The type of filter paper used should be selected based on the purpose of the study. Yield increases with larger pores but cell detail is diminished. On the other hand, yield diminishes with smaller pores but cell detail is better preserved. As such, cellulose acetate filter paper/millimeter filter paper with a pore size 0.22 mm is often employed since it renders the best results. Filter paper is typically trimmed into 5mm strips with one end square and the other end tapered. The surface of the paper is marked before applying on the ocular surface for orientation. The paper removes mucous secretions as well as the sheets of epithelial cells and goblet cells from the conjunctival surface.

Specimen collection

Egbert et al used Millipore filters to collect conjunctival specimens, which were then air-dried and stained with periodic acid Schiff (PAS) and hematoxylin. Tseng[3] subsequently modified this technique, employing 5mm cellulose acetate filter paper for sample collection. After instilling a topical anesthetic agent, the marked filter paper strip is gently pressed with a glass rod or tip of a Goldmann applanator over the area to be sampled for 5-10 sec. During the period of contact, it is important that the lids are held away from the paper, and filter paper is not allowed to be wetted by tear fluid. If the paper gets wet, the yield of cells will be poor.

Preparation of staining solutions

Staining solutions used in impression cytology include Gill’s hematoxylin, modified OG-6, Scott’s tap water substitute.

Gill’s hematoxylin [4] is prepared by combining 365 ml of distilled water, 125 ml of ethylene glycol, 1 g of anhydrous hematoxylin, 0.1 g of sodium iodate, 8.8 g of aluminum sulfate, and 10 ml of glacial acetic acid. The chemicals are stirred for 1 hour on a magnetic mixer at room temperature and the final solution is filtered through Whatman No 1 filter paper before using it for the first time. Scott’s tap water substitute consists of 1 g sodium bicarbonate and 5 g magnesium sulfate, anhydrous or 10 g magnesium sulfate, crystalline in 500 ml of tap water. The pH of this solution is 8.02. Modified orange G is made of 10 ml orange G, 10% total dye content (TDC) aqueous solution combined with 490 ml of 95% ethyl alcohol and 0.075 g phosphotungstic acid.

Staining technique

Various staining techniques have been delineated depending on the solutions used. A simplified description of the staining technique most commonly practiced is described below: The sample is immediately transferred into a Coplin jar containing 95% ethyl alcohol for fixation. Fixation is necessary to inhibit autolysis and bacterial contamination and to provide conditions that will enhance the effects of the various biological dyes. Filter paper is then clipped onto to glass slide keeping the marked surface upward for staining. The slide is then dipped in hematoxylin stain followed by eosin stain for 30 seconds. Hematoxylin stains cell nuclei a blue-black color, allowing for microscopic examination. Dehydration is done using butyl alcohol. Clearing is then done in Coplin jar with an equal amount of butyl alcohol and xylene. The slide is then left overnight in xylene to make the filter paper transparent.

Special Techniques

Special techniques have been devised for studying specimens by electron microscopy in which the specimen on cellulose acetate paper is fixed in 4% phosphate-buffered formaldehyde with 1% glutaraldehyde and ruthenium red dye and is postfixed in buffered osmium fixative. It is dehydrated and embedded in resin.[5] For immunohistochemical staining, the specimen is collected on a pure nitrocellulose membrane, then fixed with a spray fixative, and transferred onto a poly-L-lysine coated glass slide, and dried. The slide is subsequently placed in acetone for 1 hour with continuous agitation to dissolve the filter membrane. The slide is then washed for 5 minutes with tap water, and subjected to cellulose digestion for 2 hours at 37°C to remove residual membrane material before proceeding to immunocytochemical staining. Xylene for digestion is avoided since it causes destruction of all cell surface antigens.[6] Modifications in this technique help to study cytokeratin expression in the bulbar conjunctiva for instance.

Interpretation: Normal cells are flat with a prominent nucleus with a low nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio. Limbal epithelial cells are smaller, more densely packed, and have a higher nucleus-cytoplasmic ratio.

A decrease in goblet cells in both palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva is suggestive of intrinsic ocular surface disease like ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or severe chemical burns.[7] The presence of inflammatory cells is suggestive of active inflammation.

Advantage

Advantages of impression cytology are as follows:

  • Ability to diagnose ocular surface disorders
  • Simple to perform and non-invasive
  • Causes minimal discomfort to the patient
  • Multiple samples can be obtained in one sitting

Limitations

Limitations of impression cytology are:

  • May be a time-consuming and cumbersome procedure
  • Not yet a routine diagnostic tool
  • Requires expert ocular pathologist, microbiologist, and ophthalmologist
  • Cannot differentiate between dysplasia and invasive squamous cell carcinoma

Predictability

Impression cytology has 80% accuracy for predicting the histological diagnosis of OSSN[8] and has 77% predictability rate for moderate dysplasia.[9] In acanthamoeba keratitis, the yield can be as high as 94.6%.[10]

References

  1. Egbert PR, Lauber S, Maurice DM. A simple conjunctival biopsy. Am J Ophthalmol 1977;84:798–801
  2. Dogru M, Katakami C, Nakagawa N, Tetsumoto K, Yamamoto M Impression cytology in atopic dermatitis Ophthalmology. 1998 Aug; 105(8):1478-84.
  3. Tseng SCG. Staging of conjunctival squamous metaplasia by impression cytology. Ophthalmology 1985;92:728–33.
  4. Gill GW, Frost JK, Miller KA A new formula for a half-oxidized hematoxylin solution that neither overstains nor requires differentiation. Acta Cytol. 1974 Jul-Aug; 18(4):300-11.
  5. Maskin SL, Bodé DD Electron microscopy of impression-acquired conjunctival epithelial cells.Ophthalmology. 1986 Dec; 93(12):1518-23.
  6. Krenzer KL, Freddo TF Cytokeratin expression in normal human bulbar conjunctiva obtained by impression cytology.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1997 Jan; 38(1):142-52.
  7. Nelson JD, Wright JC. Conjunctival goblet cell densities in ocular surface disease. Arch Ophthalmol 1984;102:1049–51.
  8. Tole DM, McKelvie PA, Daniell M. Reliability of impression cytology for the diagnosis of ocular surface squamous neoplasia employing the bio pore membrane. Br J Ophthalmol. 2001 Feb;85(2):154-8.
  9. Nolan GR, Hirst LW, Wright RJ, et al. Application of impression cytology to the diagnosis of conjunctival neoplasms. Diagn Cytopathol. 1994;11(30:246-9.
  10. Kanavi MR, Hosseini B, Javadi M, Rakhshani N, Javadi MA. Impression cytology in eyes with clinical and confocal scan features of acanthamoeba keratitis. J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2013 Jul;8(3):207-12.