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To the Editor.
—The article by Stenson et al in the August Archives (1982;100:1275-1277) implies that culture and scrapings are valuable tools in the diagnosis of acute conjunctivitis. The data from this study are difficult to interpret without the findings from both eyes. The bacterial flora and conjunctival cellular response from the unaffected eye in unilateral cases provide a possible basis of comparison for these patients. The isolation of Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus epidermidis from the eye does not necessarily constitute a cause for 170 cases of conjunctivitis.It is also noteworthy that none of the 700 red eyes were ascribed to noninfectious or nonallergic causes, eg, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, trichiasis, and seborrhea.Finally, it is not clear whether the specimens were read in "masked" fashion to avoid the introduction of unintentional clinical bias. I hope the authors will be able to reanalyze their data to answer these questions.
Eiferman RA. Acute Conjunctivitis. Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(4):667. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040010667034