Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Contact lens wear is associated with the appearance of plasmin in the tear fluid — preliminary results

  • 38 Accesses

  • 25 Citations


We determined biochemically the plasmin concentration in tear fluid from 50 externally healthy eyes and from 49 eyes during contact lens (CL) wear. After cessation of CL wear, samples were collected again from 41 of the 49 eyes. Plasmin was detected more frequently (P < 0.0001) in the CL-wearing group (75.5%) than in the control group (20%). After the cessation of CL wear (3–21 days), the frequency of plasmin detection in tear fluid decreased significantly (P < 0.0006) but was still higher (39%) than in the control group. We conclude that the occurrence of plasmin in tear fluid is correlated with CL wear. The proteolytic activity of plasmin may contribute to the development of corneal epithelial pathology associated with CL wear.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Allansmith MR (1986) Wie das Tragen von Kontaktlinsen die Augenoberfläche angreift (How contact lens wear insults the ocular surface). Contactologia 8D:42–45

  2. 2.

    Allansmith MR, Korb DR, Greiner JV, Henriquez AS, Simon MA, Finnemore VM (1977) Giant papillary conjunctivitis in contact lens wearers. Am J Ophthalmol 83:697–708

  3. 3.

    Arentsen JJ (1986) Corneal neovascularization in contact lens wearers. Int Ophthalmol Clin 26:15–23

  4. 4.

    Auran JD, Starr MB, Jacobiec FA (1987) Acanthamoeba keratitis: A review of the literature. Cornea 6:2–26

  5. 5.

    Bergmanson JPG, Ruben M, Chu LW-F (1984) Corneal epithelial response of the primate eye to gas permeable corneal contact lenses: a preliminary report. Cornea 3:109–113

  6. 6.

    Berman M (1978) Regulation of collagenase. Trans Ophthalmol Soc UK 98:397–405

  7. 7.

    Berman M, Leary R, Gage J (1980) Evidence for a role of the plasminogen activator-plasmin system in corneal ulceration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 19:1204–1221

  8. 8.

    Berman M, Manseau E, Law M, Aiken D (1983) Ulceration is correlated with degradation of fibrin and fibronectin at the corneal surface. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 24: 1358–1366

  9. 9.

    Bohigian GM (1979) Management of infections associated with soft contact lens. Ophthalmology 86:1138–1141

  10. 10.

    Chalupa E, Swarbrick HA, Holden BA, Sjøstrand J (1987) Severe corneal infections associated with contact lens wear. Ophthalmology 94:17–22

  11. 11.

    Chan KY (1986) Release of plasminogen activator by cultured corneal epithelial cells during differentiation and wound closure. Exp Eye Res 42:417–431

  12. 12.

    Cooper RL, Constable IJ (1977) Infective keratitis in soft contact lens wearers. Br J Ophthalmol 61:250–254

  13. 13.

    Danø K, Andreasen PA, Grøndahl-Hansen J, Kristensen P, Nielsen LS, Skriver L (1985) Plasminogen activators and cancer. Adv Cancer Res 44: 139–266

  14. 14.

    Donzis PB, Mondino BJ, Weissman BA, Bruckner DA (1987) Microbial contamination of contact lens care systems. Am J Ophthalmol 104:325–333

  15. 15.

    Farris RL (1986) Tear analysis in contact lens wearers. CLAO J 12:106–111

  16. 16.

    Fujikawa LS, Foster CS, Harrist TJ, Lanigan JM, Colvin RB (1981) Fibronectin in healing rabbit corneal wounds. Lab Invest 45:120–129

  17. 17.

    Galentine PG, Cohen EJ, Laibson PR, Adams CP, Michaud R, Arentsen JJ (1984) Corneal ulcers associated with contact lens wear. Arch Ophthalmol 102: 891–894

  18. 18.

    Lantz E, Andersson A (1982) Release of fibrinolytic activators from the cornea and conjunctiva. Graefe's Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 219:263–367

  19. 19.

    Lantz E, Pandolfi M (1986) Fibrinolysis in cornea and conjunctiva: evidence of two types of activators. Graefe's Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 224:393–396

  20. 20.

    Lohman LE (1986) Corneal epithelial response to contact lens wear. CLAO J 12:153–156

  21. 21.

    Saksela O (1981) Radial caseinolysis in agarose: a simple method for detection of plasminogen activator in the presence of inhibitory substances and serum. Anal Biochem 111:276–282

  22. 22.

    Salonen E-M, Tervo T, Törmä E, Tarkkanen A, Vaheri A (1987) Plasmin in tear fluid of patients with corneal ulcers: basis for a new therapy. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 65:3–12

  23. 23.

    Stolze HH, Groteklaes G (1986) Zusammensetzung der Tränenflüssigkeit bei Kontaktlinsenträgern. Contactologia 8D:17–20

  24. 24.

    Vaheri A, Salonen E-M, Vartio T (1985) Fibronectin in formation and degradation of the pericellular matrix. Ciba Found Symp 114:111–126

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to T. Tervo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tervo, T., van Setten, G.-., Andersson, R. et al. Contact lens wear is associated with the appearance of plasmin in the tear fluid — preliminary results. Graefe's Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 227, 42–44 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02169824

Download citation


  • Public Health
  • Proteolytic Activity
  • Contact Lens
  • Plasmin
  • Contact Lens Wear