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Samuel Kim, Caroline A. Blackie, Donald R. Korb; Restoration of Meibomian Gland Function after Treatment for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):601.
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To determine, retrospectively, whether previously non-functional meibomian glands could become functional rejuvenated after treatment.
Patients diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and dry eye symptoms (n = 8) were treated with the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System in one 12-minute in-office treatment. They were followed at approximately 1 month and 12 months post treatment. At each visit, the functionality of the central five meibomian glands on the right and left lower eyelids was assessed using standardized diagnostic MG expression. For this specific region of the eyelid, the total number of MGs yielding liquid secretion (MGYLS, indicating MG function) was counted and recorded. The volume of liquid secretion for the central five glands was also recorded using the descriptors zero, minimal, moderate or copious. These descriptors were defined as follows: copious - the base diameter of the liquid secretion was 1 mm or more; moderate - the base diameter of the liquid secretion was approximately 0.5 mm; minimal - the base diameter of the liquid secretion was less than or equal to 0.3 mm. An index of volume was calculated by multiplying the number of MGYLS by 1 for minimal, 2 for moderate and 3 for copious and totaling these numbers for all five central MGs.
The mean age of the patients was 48.9 +/- 16.4 years (3 males; 5 females). There were no statistically significant differences between right and left eyes; data for right eyes only are presented. The mean number of MGYLS for the central 5 MGs at baseline = 1.1 +/- 0.8; 1 month = 3.5 +/- 1.2; 12 months = 3.1 +/- 0.6. The mean total volume index for the central 5 MGs at baseline = 1.6 +/- 1.5; 1 month = 6.5 +/- 2.9; 12 months = 5.5 +/- 2.3. The increase in MGYLS from baseline to 1 month was significant (p<0.0001); The change from 1 month to 12 months was not statistically significant. The increase in the volume index from baseline to 1 month was significant (p<0.0001); The change from 1 month to 12 months was not statistically significant (Repeated measures ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc testing.)
The increase in the number of functional MGs and the increase in the total volume of secretion of the central five lower lid MGs, maintained over a 12 month period, is evidence of restoration of MG function following treatment.
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