Tear Film Stability Analysis System: Introducing a New Application for Videokeratography

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PurposeTo review our previous studies regarding the development of a tear stability analysis system (TSAS) using videokeratography and the clinical application of TSAS for evaluation of tear film stability in patients subject to laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).MethodsNew software, namely TSAS, was developed for the videokeratography system TMS-2N (topographic modeling system). TSAS automatically captures consecutive corneal surface images every second for 10 seconds. Corneal topographs were analyzed for tear breakup time (TMS-BUT) and tear breakup area (TMS-BUA, the ratio of breakup area to entire color-code area). First, we recruited volunteers to test the sensitivity and specificity of this new system in comparison with the routine method for tear stability analysis, tear film breakup time evaluation by slit-lamp microscope (SLE-BUT), with fluorescence staining. Second, we investigated the practicability of TSAS in dynamic evaluation of tear film stability before and after LASIK.ResultsTMS-BUT had a positive correlation with SLE-BUT, whereas TMS-BUA showed a negative correlation. Although they showed similar rates of specificity as SLE-BUT, the sensitivity rates of TMS-BUT and TMS-BUA were 97.5% and 95%, respectively, significantly higher than that of SLE-BUT (75%). The study on patients subject to LASIK showed that tear film stability significantly decreased during the early time period following LASIK and resolved at 6 months after surgery. Eyes that had abnormal TSAS evaluation tended to have higher risk of developing superficial punctuate keratitis and dry eye symptoms after LASIK, and their responses to treatment were slow.ConclusionsTSAS is a noninvasive and objective method with higher sensitivity for tear film stability analysis than SLE-BUT.

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