Meibomian Gland Dysfunction in a Youthful Clinical Sample in Ghana


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Abstract

SIGNIFICANCEThis study showed a high frequency of nonobvious obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction, which can be detected only via the expression of the meibomian glands. The study advocates that meibomian gland expressibility should be a routine part of the clinical examination of patients especially those with dry eyes to avoid missing meibomian gland dysfunction among a youthful population.PURPOSEThe aim of this study was to estimate the frequency of meibomian gland dysfunction including asymptomatic and symptomatic meibomian gland dysfunction and obvious and nonobvious obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction among a youthful population in Ghana.METHODSThis was a clinic-based prospective cross-sectional study of consecutive patients visiting the University of Cape Coast Optometric clinic for comprehensive eye examination.RESULTSTwo hundred fifteen clinical subjects consented to participate in the study. Mean age of the entire sample was 21.9 (±3.8) years with an age range of 17 to 40 years. One hundred five males and 107 females participated. Frequency of meibomian gland dysfunction among the sample was 25.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.8 to 31.6%). Frequencies of asymptomatic and symptomatic meibomian gland dysfunction were 10.1% and 15.4%, respectively. Frequencies of obvious and nonobvious obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction were 0.9% and 24.6%, respectively. In univariate logistic regression analysis, age (odds ratio, 1.246; 95% CI, 1.037 to 1.496; P = .019) was significantly associated, but sex (odds ratio, 1.315; 95% CI, 0.707 to 2.446; P = .387) was not significantly associated, with meibomian gland dysfunction. There was a statistically significant difference in the mean corneal staining scores between meibomian gland dysfunction subjects and non–meibomian gland dysfunction subjects (t = 3.51, P = .01). There was also a statistically significant difference in the mean tear breakup time between meibomian gland dysfunction subjects and non–meibomian gland dysfunction subjects (t = 4.44, P < .001).CONCLUSIONSBecause of the high frequency of nonobvious obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction, reliance on overt posterior lid margin abnormalities for the diagnosis of meibomian gland dysfunction may lead to underdiagnosis of meibomian gland dysfunction among clinicians in a youthful population.

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