TearScience released the results of a physician-sponsored study titled “Meibomian gland dysfunction patients with novel Sjögren’s syndrome biomarkers benefit significantly from a single vectored thermal pulsation procedure: a retrospective analysis.” The study demonstrates that a single treatment using the LipiFlow thermal pulsation system effectively improves signs and symptoms of dry eye in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) who test positive for biomarkers of Sjögren’s syndrome, according to a company news release.
In the retrospective study, investigators reviewed the medical records of 102 eyes of 59 patients who received a LipiFlow vectored thermal pulsation treatment for verified MGD; 23 of these patients also tested positive for biomarkers associated with Sjögren’s syndrome. Eight weeks after receiving the treatment, scores on the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) questionnaire and measurements of tear breakup times (TBUT) improved in all patients, with no difference based on Sjögren’s syndrome status. There were also improvements from baseline to week 8 in Meibomian Gland Score, although the results were slightly better for patients who did not test positive for Sjögren’s syndrome biomarkers.
Numerous previous studies have demonstrated that a single LipiFlow treatment improves meibomian gland function and relieves symptoms associated with MGD1. Longer term studies have demonstrated a sustained effect. This is the first time that similar findings have been published specifically in patients with MGD and presumed Sjögren’s syndrome.
“Although Sjögren’s syndrome is conventionally associated with aqueous deficiency dry eye, it has been noted in multiple recent publications that individuals with Sjögren’s syndrome are at especially high risk for MGD. This clinical trial is the first time we have seen the benefit of a single LipiFlow treatment in patients with presumed Sjögren’s syndrome and MGD. It is yet another example of how foundational meibomian gland function is to overall ocular surface health and how critical it is to directly treat obstruction for the successful long-term management of MGD,” Alice T. Epitropoulos, MD, of Ophthalmic Surgeons and Consultants of Ohio and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and lead author of the study, said in the news release.
According to the study authors, “Patients with Sjögren’s syndrome should be evaluated for the presence of concomitant MGD, and treated accordingly.” They also state that “ ‘add-on’ LipiFlow treatment in these patients who had concomitant MGD, demonstrated significant improvement in signs and symptoms of dry eye”. According to Dr. Epitropoulos, “The management of MGD is fundamental to the successful long-term ocular surface health of all patients; Sjögren’s patients are no exception.”