Sex hormone therapy's effect on dry eye syndrome in postmenopausal women: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Oct;97(40):e12572. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000012572.


THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY T: o assess the efficacy of sex hormone therapy in the treatment of dry eye syndrome in postmenopausal women.The following electronic databases were searched without language restrictions: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, and the Chinese Biomedical Database. Two reviewers collected all the literature, which was searched for relevance in English and Chinese from January 1990 to July 2017. Both of the reviewers screened documents independently, identifying the studies that met the inclusion criteria. Then, the included studies were evaluated, and the data were extracted and conversed dependently. Finally, Review Manager 5.3 (offered by the Cochrane collaboration) was used to complete the meta-analysis. An integrated mean difference (MD) with its corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated.A total of 358 patients with dry eye were enrolled in 7 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We observed statistically significant improvements in the Schirmer's test scores (MD, 2.06; 95% CI, 0.74-4.46; I = 97%; P = .006) after sex hormone treatment. However, the scores for tear breakup time (TBUT) (MD, 1.28; 95% CI, -1.03 to 4.68; I = 99%; P = .21) and the ocular comfort index (OCI) (MD, -1.12; 95% CI, -4.42 to 1.98; I = 95%; P = .48) were not improved.This meta-analysis of 7 RCTs suggests that sex hormone therapy may be associated with better Schirmer's test scores. However, no significant differences were detected in the TBUT and OCI test scores. Consequently, sex hormone therapy has a potentially useful role in the effective management of postmenopausal women with dry eye syndrome.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asian People
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Postmenopause*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic