The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Age-related variations of human tear meniscus...

Age-related Variations of Human Tear Meniscus and Diagnosis of Dry Eye With Fourier-domain Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography.
Cornea. 2010 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Qiu X, Gong L, Sun X, Jin H.
From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Eye Ear Nose and Throat Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China; and †Department of Biostatistics and Social Medicine, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

PURPOSE: To determine the age-related variations in the human tear meniscus using Fourier-domain anterior segment optical coherence tomography (FD-ASOCT) and evaluate its application in dry eye screening and diagnosis.

METHODS: One hundred forty-six patients with dry eye and 160 healthy controls were enrolled in this prospective, randomized, case-control study and grouped according to age: group A (0-19 years), group B (20-39 years), group C (40-59 years), and group D (>60 years). Tear meniscus height, tear meniscus depth, and tear meniscus cross-sectional area (TMA) were measured using FD-ASOCT (RTVue-100); corneal fluorescein staining, tear film breakup time, Schirmer I test, and a dry eye questionnaire were also estimated.

RESULTS: Tear meniscus values were significantly correlated with clinical examination results and dry eye syndrome. Mean tear meniscus height, tear meniscus depth, and TMA values of patients with dry eye were significantly lower than those of the controls (P < 0.05). Tear meniscus values were negatively correlated with age in healthy Chinese subjects. Intraindividual variations in optical coherence tomography results were small in each group. Accuracy of dry eye diagnosis by FD-ASOCT was approximately 70%, and the clinical diagnostic critical point became lower with increasing age. Significant differences were observed in the tear meniscus borderline, TMA, and tear transparency between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS: FD-ASOCT provides blur-free imaging and precise measurement of the tear meniscus, which is consistent with clinical examinations. Therefore, FD-ASOCT is expected to become a valuable technique in dry eye screening and diagnosis.