Meibomian gland dysfunction in patients with chemotherapy-induced lacrimal drainage obstruction

Youngsub Eom, Sehyun Baek, Hyo Myung Kim, Jong Suk Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the relationship between chemotherapyinduced lacrimal drainage (LD) obstruction and obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction. Methods: Twenty patients who had received chemotherapy were divided into 2 groups, according to the presence of LD obstruction: the LD obstruction group (n = 10) and control group (n = 10). Upper and lower meibomian gland loss was evaluated using noncontact meibography, and tear film lipid layer thickness was measured using an interferometer. The mean values of the right and left eyes of each patient were used to compare parameters between both groups. Results: The LD obstruction group had higher levels of meibomian gland loss in both upper (42.9% ± 16.4%) and lower meibomian glands (80.1% ± 16.7%) than did the control group (17.3% ± 6.7% and 22.8% ± 13.0%, respectively) (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). In the LD obstruction group, meibomian gland loss in the lower eyelid was significantly higher than that in the upper eyelid (P < 0.001). The lipid layer was significantly thinner in the LD obstruction group (28.4 ± 9.7 nm) than it was in the control group (72.9 ± 22.5 nm) (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Patients with chemotherapy-induced LD obstruction had greater meibomian gland loss and thinner lipid layers than did patients without LD obstruction. Chemotherapeutic agents that induce LD obstruction can also block the meibomian gland orifice, resulting in obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction through the same mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by a grant from the Korean Health Technology R & D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant No.: HI13C0055), by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (Grant No.: 2016R1D1A1A02937003), by a Korea University Grant (K1625491), and by the Busan Sungmo Eye Hospital Sodam Scholarship Committee, Busan, South Korea. The funding source had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Chemotherapy
  • Lacrimal drainage obstruction
  • Obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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