To evaluate the precorneal tear film (PCTF) and lipid layer (TFLL) thicknesses and thinning rates in meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) using a combined ultra-high-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) and thickness dependent fringe (TDF) interferometry system.
Based on the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction diagnostic algorithm, the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and meibum grade score (MGS) were used to classify subjects into four groups: Normal (OSDI<13 and MGS<10), MGD (OSDI≥13 and MGS≥10), Asymptomatic MGD (OSDI<13 and MGS≥10), and Mixed (OSDI≥13 and MGS<10). The OCT/TDF system was used to capture PCTF and TFLL thicknesses and thinning rates. Kruskal-Wallis was used to compare median PCTF and TFLL thicknesses and thinning rates.
There were 190 subjects categorized into four groups: Normal (n = 63), MGD (n = 51), Asymptomatic MGD (n = 29), and Mixed (n = 47). The PCTF was significantly thinner in the Mixed group (3.3 [1.2]) than in the Normal (p < 0.001), MGD (p < 0.001) and Asymptomatic MGD (p = 0.009) groups. Relative to the Normal (4.5 [4.5] μm/min) and Mixed (5.0 [2.0] μm/min) groups, the rate of PCTF thinning was faster in the MGD (8.1 [3.0] μm/min, both p < 0.001) and Asymptomatic MGD (6.9 [3.1] μm/min, p = 0.009 and p = 0.04, respectively) groups. The correlation between PCTF thinning rate and TFLL thickness was ρ = -0.46, p < 0.001.
Symptomatic and asymptomatic MGD shows rapid PCTF thinning rates (evaporation), while the PCTF thickness was reduced in mixed disease. Thicker lipid layers were associated with slower PCTF thinning.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.