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June 1988

Goblet Cell Density in Thermal and Chemical Injuries

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

Arch Ophthalmol. 1988;106(6):722-723. doi:10.1001/archopht.1988.01060130792014

To the Editor.  —The article by Ohji et al1 in the December 1987 issue of the Archives raised some interesting questions regarding the role of goblet cells in ocular surface diseases. While it is not surprising that the scarred stage of the ocular surface can be induced by a variety of precipitants, a finding of increased goblet cell density in thermal and chemical burns is unusual. Several hypotheses have been offered by the authors for this observation. Might it be that their findings are apparent rather than real?I would like to suggest that the total number of goblet cells per eye may be normal or decreased, but a concomitant decrease in total conjunctival surface area from scarring and tissue destruction produces an apparent increase in the remaining cell density. Additionally, ocular surface disease may alter the adherence of goblet cells producing an artificially high density on cellulose acetate

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