Analysis of factors associated with the tear film lipid layer thickness in normal eyes and patients with dry eye syndrome

Ji Won Jung, Si Yoon Park, Jin Sun Kim, Eung Kweon Kim, Kyoung Yul Seo, Tae Im Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To determine the effects of clinical variables, including age, sex, history of refractive or cataract surgery, contact lens use, and ocular surface and meibomian gland parameters on the lipid layer thickness (LLT) in normal subjects and patients with dry eye syndrome (DES). METHODS. A total of 64 normal subjects and 326 patients with DES were enrolled, and they underwent measurements of LLT with a LipiView interferometer and tear meniscus height using optical coherence tomography, tear film break-up time (TBUT) determination, ocular surface staining, Schirmer’s test, examination of the lid margins and meibomian glands, and assessment using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI). RESULTS. In normal subjects, the median (range) LLT was 67 (33–100) nm, and age was the only factor that was significantly associated with LLT (β = 0.678, P = 0.028). In patients with DES, the median (range) LLT was 84 (20–100) nm, and 79.0% of the participants fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). In a multivariate analysis, increased age and female sex were significantly related to increased LLT (β = 0.282, P = 0.005 and β = 11.493, P < 0.001), and hypersecretory MGD and lid margin inflammation were independently associated with increased LLT (β = 11.299, P = 0.001 and β =12.747, P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS. Lipid layer thickness measurements using a new interferometer are significantly affected by demographic factors such as age, sex, ocular surgical history, and MGD type. Therefore, all of these factors must be considered in the diagnosis of ocular surface diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)4076-4083
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Inc. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of factors associated with the tear film lipid layer thickness in normal eyes and patients with dry eye syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this