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Clinical and Molecular Inflammatory Response in Sjögren Syndrome–Associated Dry Eye Patients Under Desiccating Stress

Published:October 08, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2015.09.039

      Purpose

      To evaluate the response of the lacrimal function unit in Sjögren syndrome (SS)-associated dry eye patients exposed to 2 simulated daily life environmental conditions.

      Design

      Prospective crossover pilot study.

      Methods

      Fourteen female SS dry eye patients were exposed for 2 hours to a controlled normal condition (23 C, 45% relative humidity, and air flow 0.10 m/s) and a controlled adverse condition that simulates desiccating stress (23 C, 5% relative humidity, and air flow 0.10 m/s). The following dry eye tests were performed before and after the exposure: tear osmolarity, phenol red thread test, conjunctival hyperemia, fluorescein tear break-up time, corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival lissamine green staining, and Schirmer test. Levels of 16 molecules were analyzed in tears by multiplex immunobead analysis.

      Results

      Clinical evaluation showed lacrimal functional unit impairment after the desiccating stress: significantly increased tear osmolarity (315.7 ± 3.0 vs 327.7 ± 5.1 mOsm/L, P = .03), conjunctival hyperemia (1.3 ± 0.1 vs 1.6 ± 0.1, P = .05), and corneal staining in temporal (3.5 ± 0.5 vs 4.7 ± 0.4, P = .01) and nasal (3.6 ± 0.5 vs 4.5 ± 0.5, P = .04) areas. Tear concentrations increased for interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (16 557.1 ± 4047.8 vs 31 895.3 ± 5916.5 pg/mL, P = .01), interleukin-6 (63.8 ± 20.2 vs 111.5 ± 29.6 pg/mL, P = .02), interleukin-8 (2196.1 ± 737.9 vs 3753.2 ± 1106.0 pg/mL, P = .03), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (101 515.6 ± 37 088.4 vs 145 867.1 ± 41 651.5 pg/mL, P = .03). After the simulated normal condition, only a significant increase in nasal corneal staining (2.9 ± 0.5 vs 3.6 ± 0.5, P = .03) was observed.

      Conclusions

      Even a short exposure to a desiccating environment can produce a significant deterioration of the lacrimal function unit in female SS dry eye patients. The often unnoticed exposure to these conditions during daily life may increase inflammatory activity rapidly, triggering an ocular surface deterioration.
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      Biography

      Alberto López-Miguel was graduated with honors from Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom. He completed a PhD in Vision Science in 2012 at the Instituto de Oftalmobiología Aplicada (IOBA), Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain. He is performing his research at the IOBA, and is currently assistant professor at University of Valladolid. His research interests are focused on ocular surface inflammation, refractive surgery and measurement reliability of ophthalmic instruments.