An Italian research team set out to discover whether elevated rates of meibomian gland dropout in patients with hematological diseases were caused by the disease or the treatment for it, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

The prospective analysis looked at the meibomian glands of 46 patients undergoing the stem cell procedure using a series of measurements recommended by the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society's Dry Eye Workshop II, according to the research published in Cornea. The testing included meibogrophy, Pult scale measurements, Schirmer’s testing, tear film break-up time, corneal staining and conjunctival staining. The patients were also given the Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire.

The researchers found that patients with hematological diseases had significant markers of dry eye, such as lower tear film break-up time and higher meibography scores, even before undergoing the stem cell treatment. Of the 46 patients tests, 14 (30.4%) were diagnosed with dry eye, and meibomian gland loss was noted in 29.8% of the patients.

Giannaccare G, Bonifazi F, Sebastiani S, et al. Meibomian gland dropout in hematological patients before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Cornea. 2018;37(10):1264-9.