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Case Report: A Successful LipiFlow Treatment of a Single Case of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Dropout

Korb, Donald R. O.D.; Blackie, Caroline A. O.D., Ph.D.

doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e31824ccbda
Case Report

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate whether a single case of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), with significant MG dropout resulting in evaporative dry eye, could be effectively treated with the LipiFlow (a new Food and Drug Administration–approved thermodynamic pulsatile treatment).

Materials and Methods A 39-year-old white woman experienced severe dry eye symptoms because of MGD with considerable MG dropout resulting in evaporative dry eye. Standardized diagnostic MG expression and meibography led to the tentative diagnosis of nonobvious MGD (only 1 functional MG on each lower lid) and MG dropout (∼50% of the lower lid MGs were missing with the remaining MGs being severely truncated). The patient underwent a single 12-min LipiFlow treatment per eye and returned for follow-up at 1 and 7 months posttreatment.

Results The LipiFlow treatment increased the number of functional lower lid MGs from 1 to 5 glands OD and 1 to 7 glands OS at 1 month with slight regression at 7 months (4 OD and 4 OS); increased fluorescein break-up time from 4 to 7 sec OD and 4 to 9 sec OS at both 1 and 7 months; and decreased symptom scores by approximately 50% at 1 month and approximately 75% at 7 months.

Conclusions These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the LipiFlow in restoring MG function and improving ocular comfort even in this particular case of significant MG dropout and MG truncation.

Korb Associates (D.R.K., C.A.B.), Boston, MA; and TearScience Inc. (D.R.K., C.A.B.), Morrisville, NC.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Caroline A. Blackie, O.D., Ph.D., 400 Commonwealth Avenue, Unit #2, Boston, MA 02215; e-mail:

Funding for this research was provided by TearScience inc., Morrisville, NC and Korb Associates, Boston, MA.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Accepted January 24, 2012

© 2013 Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.