The Fluorescein Staining Test is a measure of the integrity of the corneal surface.



(1) keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

(2) corneal infections

(3) chemical exposures to the eye



(1) A 1-2% solution or strip impregnated with fluorescein dye is instilled in each eye.

(2) The eye is examined 3 minutes after instillation using incident light is passed through a cobalt blue filter.

(3) The examiner uses a biomicroscope with a Wratten #11 or #12 yellow barrier filter to evaluate the staining in each corneal sector.


Corneal sectors: 5 (central, superior, lateral, medial, inferior) for each eye


Grading: 0 (no staining) to 3 (confluent)


Score: sum of all 5 sectors



• minimum score: 0

• maximum score: 15

• A score >= 4 is abnormal and reflects injury to the corneal surface.



• Some staining may be seen in normal eyes and is more prominent in the morning.

• Sequential use of the stain results in more staining of the cornea. Comparison of results after sequential use with results after a single use may result in variable results.


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