The study aimed to test whether symptomatic dry eye in aromatase inhibitor (AI) patients is associated with the clinical features of evaporative dry eye.
A cross-sectional, observational study of postmenopausal women treated with AI was conducted. Clinical information was gathered from their treating clinician. Ocular and treatment symptoms were assessed using validated questionnaires. Clinical assessments were performed to assess for dry eye. The primary outcome measure for this study was dry eye symptoms measured via questionnaire. The secondary outcome measures were clinical signs of dry eye and hormone levels.
A total of 25 women on AI were recruited. 64% of women reported symptoms of dry eye (ocular surface disease index ≥ 13). Higher tear osmolarity (323 vs 307 mOsm/L, p = 0.002) and increased meibomian gland dropout (4 vs 1, p = 0.002) were observed in patients with symptomatic dry eye when compared to asymptomatic patients. Multivariate logistic regression identified that longer duration of AI use and higher tear osmolarity increased the likelihood of a patient experiencing dry eye symptoms.
Our study found increased tear osmolarity and meibomian gland drop out in women on AI with symptomatic dry eye. Longer duration of AI therapy and higher tear osmolarity may increase the risk of developing dry eye.