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Conjunctival brush cytology from horses
Which cells are observed in conjunctival brush cytology (CBC) from normal horses in comparison with conjunctival structural histology? A very interesting new study.

This study was divided into three parts.

(1) Conjunctival brush smears were collected from 20 healthy horses on both eyes and a differential count on 300 cells was carried out on May Grünwald–Giemsa (MGG) smears.

(2) A similar protocol was used for whole eyes from five horses obtained rapidly after death from a slaughterhouse. The eyes were then assessed for conjunctival histology.

(3) Cytobrush smears were collected from five healthy horses. Smears were examined after MGG or periodic acid Schiff (PAS) staining.

Results: The differential cell count showed a majority of deep and intermediate epithelial cells with very few superficial and goblet cells in both eyes.

A stratified columnar to cuboidal epithelium was observed on nearly the whole surface of the conjunctiva.

A stratified squamous type was observed at the palpebral and bulbar edges.
Areas with highest mucus cell indices were found from the nasal to the temporal edge of the equine inferior conjunctiva in the upper palpebral segment near the fornix and in a part of the nasal fornix.

In MGG smears no mucus cells were identified; however, they were numerous in PAS smears (22.6% ± 11) and were mostly cylindrical cells (42.5% ± 14.4 PAS positive).

Conclusions: Cytobrush smears in the healthy horse are characterized by a majority of polyhedral and cylindrical cells and a few squamous cells. The cylindrical cells may be mucous cells and probably originate from the main stratified columnar to cuboidal epithelium.



Source: Nathalie Bourges-Abella, Isabelle Raymond-Letron, Armelle Diquelou, Emilie Guillot, Alain Regnier, Catherine Trumel (2007): Comparison of cytologic and histologic evaluations of the conjunctiva in the normal equine eye. In: Veterinary Ophthalmology 10 (1), 12–18.



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