To assess long-term cumulative treatment effects of intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy in meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Eighty-seven symptomatic participants (58 female, mean±SD age, 53±16 years) with clinical signs of MGD were enrolled in a prospective, double-masked, parallel-group, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Participants were randomised to receive either four or five homogeneously sequenced light pulses or placebo treatment to both eyes, (E-Eye Intense Regulated Pulsed Light, E-Swin, France). Visual acuity, dry eye symptomology, tear film parameters, and ocular surface characteristics were assessed immediately before treatment on days 0, 15, 45, 75, and four weeks after treatment course completion on day 105. Inflammatory and goblet cell function marker expression, and eyelid swab microbiology cultures were evaluated at baseline and day 105.
Significant decreases in OSDI, SPEED, and SANDE symptomology scores, and meibomian gland capping, accompanied by increased tear film lipid layer thickness, and inhibited Corynebacterium macginleyi growth were observed in both treatment groups (all p<0.05). Sustained clinical improvements occurred in both treatment groups from day 75, although significant changes from day 45, in lipid layer quality, meibomian gland capping, OSDI and SANDE symptomology, were limited to the five-flash group (all p<0.05).
IPL therapy effected significant improvements in dry eye symptomology, tear film lipid layer thickness, and meibomian gland capping in MGD patients. Five-flash IPL treatment showed superior clinical efficacy to four-flash, and an initial course of at least four treatments is suggested to allow for establishment of sustained cumulative therapeutic benefits prior to evaluation of overall treatment efficacy.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.