Effect of Thermal Pulsation Treatment for Evaporative Dry Eye on Symptoms, Meibomian Gland Function, and Lipid Layer Thickness
To retrospectively evaluate the effect of a single, in-office thermal pulsation treatment (LipiFlow System), in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and evaporative dry eye, on symptoms, meibomian gland function and lipid layer thickness.
This single center study analyzed the data from 119 eyes of 61 subjects (mean age = 66.08± 12.31 years, 21 females, 40 males) who received a single 12-minute thermal pulsation treatment and who had returned for a 6-8 weeks follow-up evaluation. Eligible subjects had a diagnosis of MGD based on assessment of meibomian gland (MG) expression and dry eye symptoms captured using the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) questionnaire. Lipid layer thickness (LLT) had been measured using an interferometer. Change in MG expression scores, LLT and SPEED symptom scores from baseline to 6-8 weeks post treatment were evaluated.
A single thermal pulsation treatment significantly improved MG expression scores, LLT and SPEED symptom scores from baseline to 6-8 weeks post-treatment. The mean MG function expression scores improved from 10.8 ± 6.2 at baseline to 15.4 ± 5.0 at 6-8 weeks post treatment; p < 0.001. The mean LLT improved from 67.8 ± 24.1 at baseline to 73.2 ± 22.4 at 6-8 weeks post treatment; p = 0.008. The mean SPEED score improved from 10.5 ± 7.4 at baseline to 4.9 ± 4.0 at 6-8 weeks post treatment; p < 0.001.
A single thermal pulsation treatment was highly effective in improving meibomian function, lipid layer thickness and reducing dry eye symptoms when measured 6-8 weeks post-treatment in a retrospective single center study.