The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Dry eye and hepatitis C

[Ocular surface and hepatitis C].
[Article in Portuguese]

To evaluate the outcomes of the tests used for dry eye diagnosis in patients with hepatitis C virus, and to verify if there is any relationship between the duration of illness and intensity of ocular surface changes.

25 patients with hepatitis C virus without treatment, and 29 patients with negative serologic tests for hepatitis C virus were selected. Biomicroscopy, tear film crystallization test, tear film break-up time, evaluation of the corneal staining with 1% fluorescein sodium, Schirmer I test, ocular surface staining with 1% rose bengal and esthesiometry were performed in both groups.

In the Schirmer I test, the group of patients with hepatitis C displayed lower values in both eyes (OR p=0.0162; OS p=0.0265). For the tear film break-up time, there was a lower score in the group with hepatitis C, but it was statistically significant only in the left eye (p=0.0007). Regarding the ocular surface damage, the rose bengal staining test showed a higher average in the hepatitis group in both eyes (right p=0.0008; left p=0.0034). There was a difference in the average esthesiometry between the groups, being the average lower in infected patients (OR p=0.0006; OS p=0.0015). There was no linear association between time of hepatitis C infection and intensity observed in dry eye tests.

Hepatitis C virus infection causes dry eye. Further researches are necessary to establish the physiopathology and the relationship with Sjögren syndrome.

Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2011 Apr;74(2):97-101.
Gomes RL, Marques JC, Albers MB, Endo RM, Dantas PE, Felberg S.
Setor de Catarata, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.