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October 1976

Human Conjunctivitis: I. Diagnostic Evaluation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Boston City Hospital and Boston University Medical Center (Drs Leibowitz, Pratt, Flagstad, and Berrospi), and the Surgical Bacteriology Laboratory, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston (Dr Kundsin).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1976;94(10):1747-1749. doi:10.1001/archopht.1976.03910040521010

• One hundred forty-three patients (207 eyes) with conjunctivitis or blepharoconjunctivitis were studied. Attempts were made to establish an etiologic diagnosis by clinical and laboratory methods. The etiologic diagnosis that was made on the basis of the initial clinical examination correlated poorly with the results of standard laboratory tests. Conversely, the standard laboratory evaluation failed to establish a definitive diagnosis in the majority of cases. These findings suggest that the diagnostic dogmatism prevalent in conjunctivitis is unwarranted. Morphologic signs and routine laboratory tests leave us without a verified etiologic diagnosis in a substantial number of cases.