Due to the usefulness of observing lid-parallel conjunctival folds (LIPCOFs) in diagnosing dry eye—about 70% of European clinicians use this test in dry eye clinics—a team of European researchers conducted a study and found that their presence is able to predict dry eye and may be a promising test in dry eye diagnosis.

The team evaluated Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) outcomes, noninvasive break-up times (NIKBUTs) and LIPCOFs of 88 females. Patients were then divided into dry eye and non-dry eye groups.

The researchers observed that LIPCOFs were significantly correlated with OSDI scores and NIKBUT averages, which significantly correlated with OSDI scores. They discovered that 37.2% of the participants were symptomatic based on the OSDI scores (≥15), and 14.7% were positive for dry eye based on the composite scores (OSDI scores ≥15, and NIKBUT averages ≤9sec). The team notes that LIPCOFs were a significant discriminator between healthy and dry eye subjects. They add that the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for temporal LIPCOFs, nasal LIPCOFs and LIPCOF sum were 0.716, 0.737 and 0.771, respectively, for the symptomatic dry eye group and 0.771, 0.719 and 0.798, respectively, for the composite dry eye group.

Pult H, Bandlitz S. Lid-parallel conjunctival folds and their ability to predict dry eye. Eye Cont Lens. 2018;44 Suppl 2:S113-9.