Purpose: To observe morphologic changes of meibomian glands in patients with and without perennial allergic conjunctivitis (AC) and to assess the relation between morphologic changes of the meibomian glands of both eyelids and tear film parameters.
Methods: In this study, 55 eyes of 55 patients with perennial AC and 47 eyes of 47 healthy volunteers as controls were included. The following tests were performed: a slit-lamp examination, measurement of tear film breakup time, grading of meibomian gland morphologic changes (meibography score) assessed with a noncontact meibography, meibomian gland duct distortion in meibography, tear production by the Schirmer I test, and grading of meibum expression.
Results: The frequency of meibomian gland duct distortion was significantly greater in patients with AC (45%) than that in controls (8.5%; P < 0.0001). The meibum (P = 0.049) and superficial punctate keratopathy scores (P = 0.0076) were significantly higher in patients with AC than those in controls. There was no significant difference in meibography score, breakup time, or Schirmer value between the 2 groups. The meibomian expression score was significantly higher in patients with AC with meibomian gland duct distortion than in patients with AC without meibomian gland duct distortion (P = 0.0012).
Conclusion: Perennial AC is associated with increased meibomian gland duct distortion.