The tear matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) immunoassay (Inflammadry) exhibits variable results in dry eye (DE) patients. We investigated if the tear volume in DE patients affects the results of MMP-9 immunoassay in clinical and in vitro settings. This cross-sectional study enrolled 188 eyes of 188 DE patients. The clinical symptoms and signs of DE were assessed using the Ocular Surface Disease Index and visual analog scale, strip meniscometry, tear break-up time, and tear meniscus height (TMH), area (TMA), and depth (TMD) using swept-source optical coherence tomography and corneal and conjunctival staining scores. For quantitative evaluation, the bands produced by the InflammaDry test were analyzed with ImageJ. DE subjects were grouped according to MMP-9 positivity and TMH. The InflammaDry-positive group showed greater TMH, TMA, and TMD than the MMP-9-negative group (p < 0.05). InflammaDry test band density in the high TMH group was significantly greater than that in the low and normal TMH groups (p < 0.05). InflammaDry test band density correlated positively with TMH, TMA, and TMD (all p < 0.05). InflammaDry test results were influenced by tear volume. Low tear volume in aqueous tear-deficient DE may induce false-negative results, and reflex tearing during the test may induce false-positive results.

References

PubMed