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Alejandro Berra, Patricio Gonzalez Valdez, Julia Tau, Alejandro Aguilar, Isabel Márquez; Ocular Surface Response To Ash From The 2011 Puyehue Volcano Eruption. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):2320.
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To study chronic ocular surface response to Puyehue volcano ash on subjects that live in Bariloche-Patagonia and in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (MABA).
Particulate matter (PM10), NO2, and CO concentration since June 16 to October 17 (highest volcano eruption activity) from Bariloche an MABA were compared with annual concentration of theses compounds. Composition of PM were done by EDAX.A panel study was carried out involving subjects who attended the ophthalmologist with ocular surface discomfort exposed to at least 3 months Puyehue volcano ash. All subjects of all groups were evaluated between 2011 September 2 to October 14, answered a symptoms inventory that assessed ocular symptoms of irritation, itching, discomfort, dry eye and foreign body and underwent to Schirmer I test, biomicroscopy, vital staining with fluorescein, rose Bengal, tear break-up time (TBUT), tear lisozime and impression cytology. Severity of symptoms was graduated since 1 to 4. Group 1 (G1) (n=22) live in Bariloche area between 80 and 150 km to the volcano. Group 2 (G2) (n=274) live in MABA a 1700 km away to the volcano. Subjects from MABA were divided in two subgroups: G2a (n=156) without dry eye and G2b (n=122) with previous dry eye. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA, Tukey HSD test and Chi-Square test (qualitative variables).
All subjects studied were attended by ophthalmologists because they had symptoms of discomfort, irritation and foreign body sensation. These symptoms were severe in G1 (3.1 ± 0.9), moderate in G2b (2.2 ± 1.2) or slight in G2a (0.7 ± 0.5). Schirmer test ≤7mm/5min with moderate or severe dry eye symptoms were present only in G2b. Impression cytology of groups G1 and G2a showed goblet cells hyperplasia and neutrophils. In contrast, subjects of G2b presented few or absence of goblet cells with neutrophils and lymphocytes.
Chronic exposure to volcano Puyehue ash for more than 3 months induce in normal conjunctiva an adaptive process mediate for goblet cells and inflammation with neutrophils participation. In contrast, conjunctiva of patients with dry eye could not induce a normal adaptive response mediate for goblet cells, instead of they could produce an inflammatory process were neutrophils and lymphocytes could play a significant role.
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