New research shows that automated noninvasive Keratograph (Oculus) readings could have better discriminative ability for detecting dry eye than traditional fluorescein tear film break-up time (TBUT) measurements. Investigators compared the two tools in 74 patients with and without dry eye symptoms. Each patient underwent both a noninvasive keratograph assessment and topical fluorescein instillation in a randomly selected order. Researchers then evaluated noninvasive keratograph break-up time (NIKBUT), TBUT and various statistical measures of validity.

Overall, NIKBUT exhibited a greater discriminative ability for detecting dry eye than TBUT, the researchers found. “Furthermore, a significant difference in NIKBUT, but not TBUT, was detected between participants reporting dry eye and healthy participants,” the study concluded.

Because this study’s participant pool featured predominantly younger East Asian and European participants with no uncontrolled major systemic disease, surgical procedures or medication use, the researchers suggest future studies focus on other demographic populations or iatrogenic dry eye conditions.

Wang MTM, Craig JP. Comparative evaluation of clinical methods of tear film stability assessment: a randomized crossover trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(3):291-4.