Tear evaporation rates in Sjögren syndrome and non-Sjögren dry eye patients

Am J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jul;144(1):81-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2007.03.055. Epub 2007 May 23.


Purpose: To reinvestigate tear evaporation rates in Sjögren syndrome (SS) and non-Sjögren (non-SS) dry eye patients with a recently reported ventilated chamber evaporimeter system.

Design: Prospective case-control study.

Methods: A ventilated chamber evaporimeter system was used to measure tear evaporation rates. A DR-1 camera (Kowa, Nagoya, Japan) was used for tear lipid layer interference image acquisition. The Yokoi severity grading system was used for DR-1 image evaluation. Twenty-four aqueous tear deficiency (ATD) eyes of 21 consecutive patients with SS were studied (SS ATD group). Twenty-one ATD eyes of 12 non-SS patients (non-SS ATD group) were examined as control subjects.

Results: Tear evaporation rates of the SS ATD group (5.9 +/- 3.5 [10(-7) g/cm(2) per second]) were significantly higher than those of the non-SS ATD group (2.9 +/- 1.8 [10(-7) g/cm(2) per second]; P = .0009). The severity grading of DR-1 tear interference images of the SS ATD group was significantly higher (P = .03), along with significantly worse meibomian gland expressibility and vital staining scores, compared with those of the non-SS ATD group.

Conclusions: Tear evaporation rates were higher in eyes of the SS ATD group compared with the non-SS ATD group. Tear evaporation assessed in conjunction with tear lipid layer findings and meibomian gland expressibility provides an increased understanding in the differential diagnosis of dry eye states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferometry
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Meibomian Glands / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Tears / metabolism*