Morphological evaluation of meibomian glands using noncontact infrared meibography

Ocul Surf. 2013 Jan;11(1):47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Oct 16.


Meibography is used to study morphological changes in the meibomian glands (MGs), and semiquantitative analysis has been used for MG assessment. We conducted a detailed morphometric assessment of MGs using noncontact infrared meibography (NIM) and investigated the relationship between MG morphology and the ocular surface and MG morphology associated with aging and sex in 37 subjects. The MGs in the upper and lower eyelids showed significant correlations in their morphology, with the former having longer ducts than the latter. The mean length of the MG ducts, percent area of MG acini, and number of gland dropouts were significantly correlated with age. The mean length of the MG ducts in the upper and lower eyelids showed negative correlations with the meibum (P=.043) and fluorescein staining score (P=.008), respectively. The percent area of MG acini in the upper eyelid showed a positive correlation with tear film breakup time (P=.012) and negative correlations with tear film lipid layer interferometry and meibum (P=.005 and .002, respectively). The mean length of the male's MG ducts in the lower eyelid was significantly longer than that of the females (P=.03). These results indicate that morphometric analysis using NIM may be useful for assessing ocular surface conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Epithelium, Corneal / metabolism
  • Eyelid Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays
  • Male
  • Meibomian Glands / diagnostic imaging
  • Meibomian Glands / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Sex Factors
  • Tears / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Fluorescent Dyes