The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: IBS and dry eye

Ocular manifestations in a community-based cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Dec 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Cury DB, Moss AC.
Center of Bowel Inflammatory diseases, Clinica Scope, Campo Grande-MS, Brazil.

BACKGROUND:: Ophthalmologic diseases in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have been reported with varying frequency, mostly from tertiary referral centers. The aim was to describe the spectrum of ophthalmologic conditions in patients with IBD in a community setting and to compare it with a control non-IBD cohort.

METHODS:: A prospective cohort of patients with Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and non-IBD controls underwent evaluation by an ophthalmologist, including visual acuity, slit-lamp exam, and assessment of lacrimal output.

RESULTS:: The ophthalmologic exam was completed in 112 subjects; 48 with CD, 40 with UC, and 24 controls. Active intestinal disease was present in 52/88 (59%) of the IBD patients, and 79/88 (89%) were taking 5-aminosalicylates (5-ASAs). The IBD and control populations had similar age and gender profiles. Patients with IBD were more likely to report ocular symptoms (odds ratio [OR] 5.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5-20), particularly dry eyes (OR 5.3, 95% CI 1.4-19), than the control population. On objective exam, 42% of IBD patients had evidence of dry eyes. In a univariate analysis, 5-ASA use was associated with an increased risk of ocular symptoms (OR 7.4, 95% CI 0.9-64), and 5-ASA use >3 g per day was associated with an increased odds ratio of dry eyes (OR 15, 95% CI 1.9-122). Active disease was not associated with eye symptoms or dry eyes. Other eye conditions such as episcleritis, uveitis, or cataracts were infrequent in this cohort.

CONCLUSIONS:: Patients with IBD in the community frequently have dry eyes. This is associated with 5-ASA use, particularly doses >3 g per day. Whether this is a surrogate marker of disease severity is unclear. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2010.