Clinical efficacy of the SmartPlug™ in the treatment of primary Sjogren's syndrome with keratoconjunctivitis sicca: one-year follow-up study

Rheumatol Int. 2011 Dec;31(12):1567-70. doi: 10.1007/s00296-010-1527-x. Epub 2010 May 21.


To evaluate the efficacy of a thermo-sensitive punctum plug, (SmartPlug™) in Primary Sjogren's Syndrome (pSS) patients with dry eyes, whose symptoms persist despite preservative-free artificial tear treatment. In this study, 22 Primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS), as defined by American-European Consensus Group Classification Criteria. All patients being followed up by Ege University Departments of Rheumatology and Ophthalmology. The patients had positive Schirmer test results (<5 mm without anesthesia). SmartPlug™ (Medennium, Irvine, California, USA) was inserted into the inferior lacrimal canaliculi of both eyes. Visual acuity measurements, Schirmer I test measurements, lissamine green staining scores, and tear-film breakup times (BUT) were noted before plug insertion and at the 1st, 6th, and 12th months following the procedure. Minimum follow-up period was 6 months for 19 patients and 12 months for 16 patients. Significant improvements were seen in the Schirmer I test scores (before insertion: 1.98 ± 2.67; 1st month: 5.68 ± 6.69; 6th month: 5.35 ± 5.38; 12th month 6.43 ± 5.14 P = 0.006), tear-film BUT in seconds (before insertion: 4.64 ± 3.7; 1st month: 5.80 ± 2.36; 6th month: 7.53 ± 2.92; 12th month 7.50 ± 2.52, P < 0.0001), respectively. Thermodynamic punctum plug insertion only in inferior canaliculus is a simple, effective, and comfortable option for treatment of severe aqueous tear deficiency that cannot be controlled using preservative-free tears.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca / therapy*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / therapy*
  • Thermodynamics
  • Treatment Outcome