Effect of overnight orthokeratology on conjunctival goblet cells

Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2016 Aug;39(4):266-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2016.04.001. Epub 2016 Apr 13.


Objective: To evaluate the differences between goblet cell density (GCD) and symptomatology after one month of orthokeratology lens wear.

Methods: A pilot, short-term study was conducted. Twenty-two subjects (29.7±7.0 years old) participated voluntarily in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups: habitual silicone hydrogel contact lens wearers (SiHCLW) and new contact lens wearers (NCLW). Schirmer test, tear break up time (TBUT), Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and conjunctival impression cytology. GCD, mucin cloud height (MCH) and cell layer thickness (CLT) were measured. All measurements were performed before orthokeratology fitting and one month after fitting to assess the evolution of the changes throughout this time.

Results: No differences in tear volume and TBUT between groups were found (p>0.05). However, the OSDI score was statistically better after one month of orthokeratology lens wear than the baseline for the SiHCLW group (p=0.03). Regarding the goblet cell analysis, no differences were found in CLT and MCH from the baseline visit to the one month visit for the SiHCLW compared with NCLW groups (p>0.05). At baseline, the GCD in the SiHCLW group were statistically lower than NCLW group (p<0.001). There was a significant increase in GCD after orthokeratology fitting from 121±140cell/mm(2) to 254±130cell/mm(2) (p<0.001) in the SiHCLW group.

Conclusion: Orthokeratology improves the dry eye subject symptoms and GCD after one month of wearing in SiHCLW. These results suggest that orthokeratology could be considered a good alternative for silicone hydrogel contact lens discomfort and dryness.

Keywords: Discomfort; Goblet cell density; Orthokeratology; Silicone hydrogel contact lens.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Conjunctiva / pathology*
  • Contact Lenses / adverse effects*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / etiology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / pathology*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Goblet Cells / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orthokeratologic Procedures / adverse effects
  • Orthokeratologic Procedures / instrumentation
  • Orthokeratologic Procedures / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tears / cytology
  • Treatment Outcome