Indexed on: 26 Sep '16Published on: 26 Sep '16Published in: Ophthalmology
To measure matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in the tear film of patients with dry eye disease (DED) compared with controls and to correlate clinical findings.In a prospective study, 101 patients and controls underwent MMP-9 testing of the tear film. Thereafter, they were evaluated for symptoms and signs of DED.Included patients were those who showed 3 of the following 4 dry eye criteria: ocular surface disease index (OSDI) score of more than 12, tear film break-up time (TBUT) of 10 seconds or less, Schirmer test results without anesthesia of less than 10 mm/5 minutes, and corneal staining results of 1 or more. Fifty-four healthy eyes and 47 eyes fulfilling diagnostic criteria for DED of various levels of severity were included in this study.The tear film was analyzed for MMP-9 by a commercially available test (InflammaDry; Rapid Pathogen Screening, Inc, Sarasota, FL) detecting MMP-9 levels of more than 40 ng/ml. Symptoms and signs of DED were evaluated using the OSDI questionnaire, TBUT, conjunctival and corneal staining, Schirmer test results without anesthesia, and meibomian gland examination. These findings were correlated to results of the MMP-9 test in tears.Positive MMP-9 results in tears.In 19 of 47 patients confirmed with dry eye (40.4%) and in 3 of 54 controls (5.6%), the MMP-9 results were positive. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Thus, the MMP-9 results indicated a clinically significant inflammation in 40% of dry eye patients. Positive results correlated well with subjective symptoms of DED evaluated by OSDI (P = 0.001), TBUT of less than 5 seconds (P < 0.013), Schirmer test results (P < 0.001), conjunctival staining (P < 0.001), and corneal staining (P = 0.007). Moreover, MMP-9 results correlated with the number of obstructed meibomian ducts (P = 0.005) and a pathologic meibomian gland secretion (P = 0.001). The MMP-9 results were increased significantly in women (P < 0.001) and in patients with autoimmune disease (P = 0.005), especially Sjögren's syndrome (P = 0.001) and thyroid disease (P = 0.012).Matrix metalloproteinase 9 testing in DED is a valuable new diagnostic tool. It correlated well with other dry eye tests and identified the presence of ocular surface inflammation in 40% of confirmed dry eye patients. It may be especially helpful to identify patients with ocular surface inflammation and autoimmune disease and may facilitate the decision to institute anti-inflammatory treatment in these patients.