Background: Inflammatory cells infiltrating to the tarsal conjunctiva are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of corneal lesions in severe allergic conjunctival diseases. The relation between such cells and the severity of corneal lesions was studied. Methods: Six patients with atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) were enrolled in this study. Tarsal brush cytology findings and the severity of corneal damage at that point were recorded and analysed for correlation. Results: Four out of six patients exhibited correlation between eosinophils and corneal damage. Three out of six patients exhibited correlation between neutrophils and corneal damage. Two out of six patients exhibited correlation between both eosinophils and neutrophils and corneal damage. Analysis of all data from all patients taken together revealed that both eosinophils and neutrophils in brush cytology samples significantly correlated with corneal damage. Conclusions: Inflammatory cells in brush cytology samples correlated with corneal damage. Evaluation of the relative percentages of inflammatory cells in brush cytology samples is a useful method of assessing disease activity in allergic conjunctival disease.
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