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Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis

Practice Essentials

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC), also called contact lens–induced papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC), is a common complication of contact lens wear. First described by Spring,
GPC is characterized by hypersensitivity-related inflammation of the ocular tarsal palpebral conjunctivae.
It is associated with the use of all types of contact lenses (eg, rigid, hydrogel, silicone hydrogel, piggyback,
scleral, prosthetic), although similar reactions have been noted with ocular prostheses, extruding scleral buckles, exposed ocular sutures, and even elevated corneal scars.

GPC was once considered an allergic disease similar to other immunoglobulin E (IgE)–mediated ocular allergy such as allergic conjunctivitis and vernal keratoconjunctivitis because of the similar clinical symptoms seen in allergic diseases (eg, itchiness, tearing, mucous hyperproduction, increase in symptoms during allergy season). The mechanical irritation of contact lenses and sutures that causes GPC supports the classification of GPC into a group of nonallergic hypersensitivity disorders.

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