Purpose: To characterize patients with ocular surface drying and a diagnosis of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). Methods: Patients with a prior diagnosis of KCS and symptoms of dryness or foreign-body sensation who also had vital staining of the interpalpebral fissure ocular surface in the absence of lid and ocular surface inflammation were entered into the study along with normal controls. Patients were segregated into those with "classic" KCS, who did not have concomitant meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and those with KCS and MGD. The latter had slit-lamp evidence of difficult-to-express or turbid meibomian secretions upon expression. Patients and normal controls were evaluated for tear volume, flow, and turnover using fluorophotometry; meibomian gland dropout by meibography; evaporation by evaporometry; and tear production by the Schirmer 1 test. Results: All patients with KCS had decreased tear volume, flow, and Schirmer 1 values as well as increased meibomian gland dropout. None of the patient groups were found to have increased tear evaporation compared with normals or other disease subgroups. No correlation between degree of meibomian gland dropout and evaporation was found. The degree of total vital staining or presence of corneal staining correlated with a more severe aqueous deficiency. Conclusions: Patients with ocular surface drying in the absence of inflammation have decreased tear volume, flow, and Schirmer 1 values as well as increased meibomian gland dropout. The role of meibomian gland dropout or slit-lamp MGD in disease is unclear and in our study specifically did not correlate with increased tear evaporation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society|
|State||Published - 2003|