Whether brain function is altered in patients with dry eye disease (DED) remains unclear. Twenty patients with DED and 23 healthy controls (HCs) were scanned using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Regional homogeneity (ReHo) and support vector machine (SVM) were used to analyze the imaging data. Relative to the HCs, the patients with DED showed significantly increased ReHo values in the left inferior occipital gyrus (IOG), left superior temporal gyrus, and right superior medial prefrontal cortex, and significantly decreased ReHo values in the right superior frontal gyrus/middle frontal gyrus and bilateral middle cingulum (MC). SVM results indicated that the combination of ReHo values in the left MC and the left IOG in distinguishing patients with DED from HCs had a sensitivity of 95.00%, a specificity of 91.30%, and an accuracy of 93.02%. The present study found that the patients with DED had abnormal ReHo values in the limbic-cortical circuits. A combination of ReHo values in the left MC and the left IOG could be applied as a potential imaging biomarker to distinguish patients with DED from HCs. The dysfunction of limbic-cortical circuits may play an important role in the pathophysiology of DED.
Copyright © 2020 Yan, Shan, Wei, Liu, Li, Lei, Guo and Luo.