Purpose: To investigate histopathologic changes in human meibomian gland.
Methods: Human meibomian gland samples were obtained at autopsy from 50 men and 33 women aged from 17 to 87 years with a mean age (+/- SD) of 61 +/- 13 years. Pieces of tarsal plate measuring 3 x 3 mm including meibomian glands were excised from the center of both upper eyelids, then fixed and embedded in paraffin. Sections 4-microm thick were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and periodic acid-Schiff. Light microscopy was used to observe any histopathologic changes.
Results: The following histopathologic changes were observed: (1) cystic dilatation of acini and/or ducts, (2) atrophy of acini, (3) basement membrane thickening of acini, (4) granulation tissue, and (5) lipogranulomatous inflammation.
Conclusion: Various histopathologic changes were observed in the human meibomian gland. Hyperkeratinization of ductal epithelium and atrophy of acinar cells may cause meibomian gland dysfunction.