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June 2000

Lacrimal Secretion in the Neonate

Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(6):861. doi:

I read with interest the article by Isenberg et al1 on lacrimal secretion in newborns. Their findings are consistent with my own in a previous independent study in which, with informed parental consent, I performed the Schirmer test on the third day of life in 75 neonates (150 eyes), comprising 50 term and 25 preterm babies (Table 1). Term infants do manifest normal lacrimal secretion. Preterm infants also secrete tears, but to a lesser extent, the quantity of secretion being proportional to birth weight.