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Meibomitis-Related Keratoconjunctivitis: Implications and Clinical Significance of Meibomian Gland Inflammation

Suzuki, Tomo MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31826a04dd

Abstract: Meibomian gland inflammation, “meibomitis,” is associated with ocular surface inflammatory diseases. However, these diseases are poorly defined clinically, making effective treatment difficult. Herein, we propose a new disease subset, termed meibomitis-related keratoconjunctivitis (MRKC). The ocular surface features of MRKC include: meibomitis with redness and swelling of the eyelid margin and palpebral conjunctiva; superficial vascularization and granulomatous nodules in the cornea; and conjunctival hyperemia, similar or identical to that observed in phlyctenular keratitis. The characteristics of MRKC patients include a significantly higher prevalence in women, multiple history of chalazia, close association with meibomitis, the presence of specific human leukocyte antigen association, high Propionibacterium acnes detection rates in meibum culture, and the effectiveness of systemic antimicrobial therapy targeting P. acnes. MRKC may share many clinical features with ocular rosacea, especially during childhood. The clinical effectiveness of systemic antimicrobial agents in treating both diseases suggests the importance of focusing on the elimination of bacteria such as P. acnes.

Department of Ophthalmology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.

Reprints: Tomo Suzuki, Department of Ophthalmology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0841, Japan (e-mail:

Supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.

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