Use of impression cytology for the detection of unsuspected ocular surface squamous neoplasia cells in pterygia

Uso da citologia de impressão para a detecção de células de neoplasia escamosa da superfície ocular insuspeita em pterígios

Jeison de Nadai Barros Marcia Serva Lowen Milton Nunes de Moraes-Filho Maria Cristina Martins About the authors


To evaluate the agreement between the methodologies of impression cytology (IC) and histopathology regarding epithelial lesions clinically diagnosed as pterygium and also regarding the detection of unsuspected and associated ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN).


Thirty-two Brazilian patients were included and IC was performed on all pterygia before excision. Histopathogical examination was considered the gold standard and was performed by two experienced ocular pathologists in which consensus existed regarding pterygia diagnosis. IC accuracy was assessed by sensitivity and specificity with a 95% confidence interval.


From the 32 primary lesions studied, histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of pterygium without atypical cells in 19 cases (60%) and showed unsuspected and associated OSSN cells in 13 cases (40%). IC demonstrated one false-negative and one false-positive result for atypia. Statistical analysis showed an estimated sensitivity of 92%, specificity of 94%, positive predictive value of 92%, and negative predictive value of 94%.


IC demonstrated high agreement with histopathological analysis in the detection of atypical epithelial cells in unsuspected OSSN in Brazilian pterygia patients.

Pterygium; Conjunctiva; Cornea; Limbus corneae; Ocular surface; Eye neoplasms; Cytological techniques

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