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T. Suzuki, N. Yokoi, A. Komuro, S. Kinoshita; The Influence of Menopause in Meibomian Gland Physiology. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):4257.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We previously reported that meibomian gland physiology changes during the menstrual cycle (ARVO, 2007) and has sex differences (ARVO, 2008). In this study, we assessed the meibomian gland physiology in postmenopausal females, and then compared them with those in premenopausal females as well as the influence of serum sex steroid hormones.
Six female subjects in their fifties (average age of menopause: 50+4 years-old) and six females in their twenties with a regular 28-day menstrual cycle were recruited for this study, with informed consent being obtained from all subjects prior to enrollment. The volume of meibum by meibometry, fluorescein tear-film breakup time (F-BUT), diameter of the meibomian gland orifice (MGO) using slit-lamp photography with high magnification, meibomian gland morphology by meibography, and the serum concentration of sex steroid hormones were evaluated every 3-5 days for 5 consecutive weeks.
The MGO diameter and the volume of meibum were significantly higher in postmenopausal females than in premenopausal females (average + S.E.: 0.210+0.9 mm, 0.175+0.003 mm, respectively; 0.155+0.006 ODU, 0.073+0.015 ODU, respectively; p<0.001). However, the F-BUT showed no significant differences in postmenopausal and premenopausal females (5.6+0.24 sec, 6.1+0.92 sec, respectively). In premenopausal females, the MGO diameter was negatively correlated with the serum concentration of estradiol (p<0.005), but in postmenopausal females it was positively correlated with the serum concentration of testosterone and progesterone (p<0.005).
Significant differences in the meibomian gland physiology were seen in pre- and post-menopausal females. Serum levels of sex steroid hormones play an influence on meibomian gland physiology and may exert an impact on evaporative dry eye.
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