The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Radiation and lacrimal glands

Identifies a direct relationship between radiation treatment and reduced Schirmer scores.

Lacrimal Gland Radiosensitivity in Uveal Melanoma Patients.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Muller K, Nowak PJ, Naus N, de Pan C, Santen CA, Levendag P, Luyten GP.

PURPOSE: To find a dose-volume effect for inhomogeneous irradiated lacrimal glands.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Between 1999 and 2006, 72 patients (42 men and 30 women) were treated with fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy in a prospective, nonrandomized clinical trial (median follow-up, 32 months). A total dose of 50 Gy was given on 5 consecutive days. The mean of all Schirmer test results obtained >/=6 months after treatment was correlated with the radiation dose delivered to the lacrimal gland. Also, the appearance of dry eye syndrome (DES) was related to the lacrimal gland dose distribution.

RESULTS: Of the 72 patients, 17 developed a late Schirmer value <10 mm; 9 patients developed DES. A statistically significant relationship was found between the received median dose in the lacrimal gland vs. reduced tear production (p = 0.000) and vs. the appearance of DES (p = 0.003), respectively. A median dose of 7 Gy/fraction to the lacrimal gland caused a 50% risk of low Schirmer results. A median dose of 10 Gy resulted in a 50% probability of DES.

CONCLUSION: We found a clear dose-volume relationship for irradiated lacrimal glands with regard to reduced tear production and the appearance of DES.