Ocular ferning test. A qualitative test for mucus deficiency

K. F. Tabbara, M. Okumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


A new qualitative test for the study of conjunctival mucus has been developed. Conjunctival scrapings were obtained from 196 patients. Microscopic mucus ferning (arborization) was observed in 148 (91%) patients with various forms of acute conjunctivitis. Six patients (18%) with cicatrizing conjunctivitis (diffuse conjunctival cicatrization, ocular pemphigoid, Stevens-Johnson syndrome) had mucus ferning in their conjunctival scrapings specimens. Mucus ferning was significantly absent (P <0.005) in patients with diffuse conjunctival cicatrization when compared to mucus ferning in other forms of conjunctivitis. Ocular mucus ferning test is a simple inexpensive office test for the evaluation of patients with mucus deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-714
Number of pages3
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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