The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Dry eye and chronic hepatitis C

Evaluation of Ocular Surface Damage and Dry Eye Status in Chronic Hepatitis C at Different Stages of Hepatic Fibrosis.
Cornea. 2009 Aug 29. [Epub ahead of print]
Gumus K, Yurci A, Mirza E, Arda H, Oner A, Topaktas D, Karakucuk S.
From the *Department of Ophthalmology and the daggerDepartment of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey.

PURPOSE:: The purpose of this study was to explore changes in ocular surface and tear function parameters in chronic hepatitis C at different stages of hepatic fibrosis.

METHODS:: Fifty-four patients with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C and 54 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects without systemic hepatitis C infection were examined with the Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire, Schirmer with and without anesthesia, tear film breakup time, and scoring of ocular surface Lissamine green staining using modified Oxford and van Bijsterveld scoring systems and corneal fluorescein staining.

RESULTS:: Patients with chronic hepatitis C scored significantly worse than the control subjects on all parameters: modified Oxford scores of Lissamine green staining (5.5/3.0; P <0.001), Oxford and van Bijsterveld scores (4.0/2.0; P <0.001), and corneal fluorescein staining (1.5/0.0; P = 0.001). The chronic hepatitis C group also had higher Ocular Surface Disease Index scores than the control subjects (22.3/13.7; P = 0.001). Schirmer with and without anesthesia and tear film breakup time scores were found to be lower in patients with chronic hepatitis C (P <0.001). Moreover, patients with advanced stages of hepatic fibrosis (stages 4-6) had significantly lower values of tear film breakup time and worse Ocular Surface Disease Index scores and ocular surface vital dye staining than those with initial stages of hepatic fibrosis (stages 0-3).

CONCLUSION:: Patients with chronic hepatitis C, especially those with advanced stages of hepatic fibrosis, were more likely to exhibit severe ocular surface damage and signs of dry eye.