The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of lid wiper epitheliopathy (LWE) in patients diagnosed with dry eye disease (DED).
Patients were recruited for two groups. Inclusion criteria for the DED group (n = 50) was: a score greater than 10 with the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness questionnaire, fluorescein break-up time 5 seconds or less, corneal and conjunctival staining with fluorescein, lissamine green Grade 1 or greater (scale 0-3), and Schirmer test with anesthesia 5 mm or less. For the asymptomatic group (n = 50), inclusion criteria were: no dry eye symptoms, fluorescein break-up time 10 seconds or greater, no corneal or conjunctival staining, and Schirmer test 10 mm or greater. Sequential instillations (n = 2, 5 minutes apart) of a mixture of 2% fluorescein and 1% lissamine green solution were used to stain the lid wipers of all patients. LWE was graded (scale 0-3) using the horizontal lid length and the average sagittal lid widths of the stained wiper.
In symptomatic patients, 88% had LWE, of which 22% was Grade 1, 46% Grade 2, and 20% Grade 3. In asymptomatic patients, 16% had LWE, of which 14% was Grade 1, 2% was Grade 2, and 0% Grade 3. The difference in prevalence of lid wiper staining between groups was significant (P < 0.0001).
The prevalence of LWE was six times greater for the DED group and the prevalence of LWE Grade 2 or greater was 16 times greater for the DED group than for the control group. These data further establish LWE as a diagnostic sign of dry eye disease.
From the *Korb Associates, Boston, MA; †Pittsfield Eye Associates, Pittsfield, MA; ‡Tufts Medical School, Boston, MA; §Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, MA; and ∥Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
Received for publication March 24, 2009; revision received June 22, 2009; accepted July 30, 2009.
Supported by Korb Associates, Boston, MA.
Reprints: Caroline A. Blackie, 400 Commonwealth Avenue, Unit #2, Boston, MA 02215 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).