Objective: To investigate the efficacy of topical cyclosporine A 0.05% (tCsA) (Restasis, Allergan Pharmaceuticals) in the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction (posterior blepharitis).
Methods: Thirty-three patients with symptomatic meibomian gland dysfunction were randomized in a prospective study to either tCsA or placebo (Refresh Plus preservative-free artificial tears), 2 times daily for 3 months. They were evaluated at baseline and at 1, 2, and 3 months for subjective symptoms and objective signs including meibomian gland inclusions, lid margin vascular injection, tarsal telangiectasis, fluorescein staining, tear breakup time, and Schirmer scores.
Results: Twenty-six patients completed the study. All patients were tested for ocular symptoms, lid margin vascularity, tarsal telangiectasis, meibomian gland inclusions, tear breakup time, and fluorescein staining. At the 3-month visit, the tCsA group showed a greater improvement in ocular symptoms than the placebo group, but this difference was not statistically significant. At the 3-month visit, several objective examination findings were statistically significantly (P < 0.05) improved in the tCsA group compared with the placebo group. These differences included lid margin vascular injection, tarsal telangiectasis, and fluorescein staining. The most significant finding (P = 0.001) was the greater decrease in the number of meibomian gland inclusions in the tCsA group compared with the placebo group.
Conclusions: Topical CsA may be helpful in the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction (posterior blepharitis). Topical CsA did not induce an improvement in the symptoms, but it did decrease the number of meibomian gland inclusions in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction.