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March 1979

Russell Bodies in Contact-Lens-Associated Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Ciudad Sanitaria "Principes De España," Barcelona, Spain (Dr Henriquez), and the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and the Department of Cornea Research, Eye Research Institute of Retina Foundation, Boston (Dr Allansmith).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(3):473-478. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010223006

• Biopsy specimens of the upper tarsal conjunctiva in soft contact lens-associated giant papillary conjunctivitis were taken during (1) chronic exacerbation, (2) brief remission, and (3) intentional exacerbation. Inflammatory cells were quantitated and compared with inflammatory cells in normal upper tarsal conjunctivae. Specimens were evaluated by light and electron microscopy. The most remarkable feature was the presence of diamond-shaped Russell bodies in 20% of the plasma cells of the second biopsy specimen. A few round Russell bodies were seen in the first biopsy specimen and none in the third.

We concluded that the brief quiescent phase (second biopsy specimen) was characterized by retention of immunoglobulin to produce Russell bodies, and that the active phases of the disease were marked by migration of mast cells into the epithelium and by the presence of eosinophils and basophils in the substantia propria.

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