Preliminary Study on the Tears Oxidative Stress Status and Sleep Disturbances in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020 May 23:2020:4690713. doi: 10.1155/2020/4690713. eCollection 2020.


According to the latest gastrointestinal disorders diagnostic criteria (ROME IV), the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is mainly characterized by the presence of abdominal pain and changes in intestinal transit. However, both sleep impairments and oxidative status changes (in patients' sera, mucosal level, and other body fluids) were reported IBS. Thus, in this study, we aimed to evaluate several aspects regarding the oxidative stress status in patients' tears as well as sleep disturbances by comparison with the intensity of IBS symptoms, as assessed by the visual analogue scale for irritable bowel syndrome (VAS-IBS). Ten IBS patients and fourteen healthy sex- and age-matched volunteers were recruited from the Oftaprof Ophthalmological Clinic (Iași, Romania). Visual analogue scale for irritable bowel syndrome and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaires were administered to all the patients. Tear samples were collected using the Schirmer test procedure and were subjected to biochemical analysis-superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities, malondialdehyde, and total soluble proteins levels were determined. Standard statistical analysis was applied. We found significant differences in oxidative stress marker dynamics in IBS patients as compared to healthy age- and sex-matched controls: increased superoxide dismutase activity (p = 0.02), increased malondialdehyde (p = 0.007), and total soluble proteins levels (p = 0.019). We found no significant differences in tear glutathione peroxidase activity in IBS patients as compared to healthy age- and sex-matched controls (p = 0.55). Furthermore, we observed that the oxidative stress tear markers are correlated with gastrointestinal symptoms severity (as evaluated by VAS-IBS) but not correlated to the sleep quality index and items (as evaluated by PSQI), with significant differences according to patient sex and IBS subtype stratification. In this way, this study brings additional evidence of the oxidative stress role in IBS pathology alongside the evaluation of tear fluid molecular dynamics in IBS for the first time in our best knowledge.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / pathology*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / pathology*
  • Tears / metabolism*
  • Visual Analog Scale


  • Biomarkers