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Sharon Yeo, Jen Hong Tan, U. Rajendra Acharya, Vidya K. Sudarshan, Louis Tong; Longitudinal Changes in Tear Evaporation Rates After Eyelid Warming Therapies in Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(4):1974-1981. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.16-19088.
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Lid warming is the major treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). The purpose of the study was to determine the longitudinal changes of tear evaporation after lid warming in patients with MGD.
Ninety patients with MGD were enrolled from a dry eye clinic at Singapore National Eye Center in an interventional trial. Participants were treated with hot towel (n = 22), EyeGiene (n = 22), or Blephasteam (n = 22) twice daily or a single 12-minute session of Lipiflow (n = 24). Ocular surface infrared thermography was performed at baseline and 4 and 12 weeks after the treatment, and image features were extracted from the captured images.
The baseline of conjunctival tear evaporation (TE) rate (n = 90) was 66.1 ± 21.1 W/min. The rates were not significantly different between sexes, ages, symptom severities, tear breakup times, Schirmer test, corneal fluorescein staining, or treatment groups. Using a general linear model (repeat measures), the conjunctival TE rate was reduced with time after treatment. A higher baseline evaporation rate (≥66 W/min) was associated with greater reduction of evaporation rate after treatment. Seven of 10 thermography features at baseline were predictive of reduction in irritative symptoms after treatment.
Conjunctival TE rates can be effectively reduced by lid warming treatment in some MGD patients. Individual baseline thermography image features can be predictive of the response to lid warming therapy. For patients that do not have excessive TE, additional therapy, for example, anti-inflammatory therapy, may be required. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01683318 and NCT01448369.)
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