PURPOSE: To investigate the usefulness of meibomian gland (MG) dropout rate in the evaluation of MG morphological change associated with the use of prostaglandin for glaucoma treatment through the association between MG and the ocular surface parameters and medication duration and presence of preservative. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 88 eyes of 88 patients who were diagnosed with glaucoma and used only Tafluprost as treatment. The patients were divided into four "user" groups: 1) 23 patients used preservative-free (PF) Tafluprost for 6 months; 2) 21 patients used preservative-containing (PC) Tafluprost for 6 months; 3) 23 patients used PF-Tafluprost for 24 months; 4) 21 patients used PC-Tafluprost for 24 months. Ocular surface parameters and the MG condition, including MG dropout rate and meiboscale, were evaluated. Multiple regression was used to identify associations. RESULTS: There were significant differences in age (p = 0.003), tear breakup time (p = 0.016), lid margin abnormality (p = 0.016), expressibility (p = 0.039), meiboscale (p<0.001), and MG dropout rate (p<0.001) among the 4 groups. MG dropout rate and meiboscale showed significant differences in all post hoc analyses, except for the comparison between the PF-Tafluprost and PC-Tafluprost 6-month user groups. Medication duration, preservative status, and meiboscale were significantly correlated with MG dropout rate (p<0.001, p = 0.024, p<0.001, respectively). In the 6-month user group, preservative status significantly correlated with MG dropout rate (p = 0.015). However, in the 24-month user group, meiboscale was the only parameter significantly associated with MG dropout rate (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: MG dropout rate in patients using Tafluprost showed a significant correlation with medication duration and preservative status. This result indicates MG dropout rate reflects MG morphologic change associated with prostaglandin.
Department of Ophthalmology, Severance Hospital, Institute of Vision Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.