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Abstract: Looking at MGs of GvHD patients with a confocal

Morphologic evaluation of meibomian glands in chronic graft-versus-host disease using in vivo laser confocal microscopy.

To evaluate the morphological changes of the meibomian glands (MGs) using in vivo laser confocal microscopy (CM) in dry eye (DE) patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD).

Seventeen eyes from 9 patients with a diagnosis of DE associated with cGVHD (DE/cGVHD group; 6 males, 3 females; median 50.5 years) and 16 eyes of 8 hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients without DE (non-DE/non-cGVHD group; 5 males, 3 females; median 47.0 years) were enrolled. CM was used to investigate the MG and MG acinar unit density (MGAUD), MG acinar longest diameter (MGALD), MG acinar shortest diameter (MGASD), and the fibrosis grade. Clinical findings of the lid margin were obtained. Tear dynamics, ocular surface vital staining, meibography, and MG expressibility were also examined. Data were compared between the 2 groups using the unpaired t and Mann-Whitney tests.

The mean MGAUD value was significantly lower in the DE/cGVHD group than in the non-DE/non-cGVHD group (p=0.01, 57.8±38.3 glands/mm(2), 88.8±26.6 glands/mm(2), respectively), and the mean MGALD and MGASD were significantly shorter in the DE/cGVHD group than in the non-DE/non-cGVHD group (p=0.0018, 37.3±24.4 μm and 60.4±11.8 μm, p=0.0106, 17.7±11.8 μm and 26.6±6.03 μm, respectively). The mean fibrosis grade was significantly higher in the DE/cGVHD group than the non-DE/non-cGVHD group (p<0.0001, 1.39±0.71 grade, 0.06±0.25 grade, respectively). Clinical findings in the lid margin, tear dynamics, and ocular surface findings were significantly worse in the DE/cGVHD group than in the non-DE/non-cGVHD group.

CM clearly depicted the morphological changes of the MG in the DE/cGVHD group, and revealed the severity of the meibomian gland dysfunction. Patients with severe DE after HSCT showed atrophic MG and excessive fibrosis.

Mol Vis. 2011;17:2533-43. Epub 2011 Sep 29.
Ban Y, Ogawa Y, Ibrahim OM, Tatematsu Y, Kamoi M, Uchino M, Yaguchi S, Dogru M, Tsubota K.