Effectiveness of Intraductal Meibomian Gland Probing for Obstructive Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

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To evaluate the short-term effectiveness of intraductal meibomian gland probing using modified Maskin cannulas in patients with obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction.


The study prospectively included 58 eyes of 30 patients with a diagnosis of meibomian gland dysfunction who were refractory to medical treatment for at least 6 months. The patients were divided into 4 groups according to the number of probing procedures applied. During probing, sterile modified Maskin probes 2, 2.5, 4, and 6 mm in length were used. A tarsal massage was recommended after medical treatment. Preoperatively, then postoperatively at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months, the Schirmer 1 test was performed, tear break-up time was measured, and images of the anterior segment were recorded. In addition, the Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire was completed at baseline and at 3 months.


In all groups, there were no statistically significant differences between Schirmer 1 test results at preoperative and postoperative 3 months, but tear break-up time values measured at baseline and at 3 months differed significantly (5 seconds, 13 seconds, P < 0.001). In the analyses of anterior segment photographs of all patients, statistically significant postprocedural decreases in conjunctival hyperemia (P < 0.0001) and eyelid margin vascularization (P = 0.004) were detected, and the later Ocular Surface Disease Index scores showed a significant improvement between preop and 3 months.


A procedure using modified Maskin probes was effective and reliable in the short term for patients with meibomian gland dysfunction.

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