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Tear film and ocular surface assessment in psoriasis


Background Psoriasis is a skin disease with also systemic involvement: its impact on the eye is not well established and often clinically underestimated. Aim of this study was to investigate the presence of ocular discomfort symptoms and of ocular surface changes in a population of patients with psoriasis.

Methods For this cross-sectional, comparative study, 66 patients with psoriasis were subdivided according to the presence of arthritis and to the use of biological therapy. All patients underwent clinical evaluation with the following tests: Ocular Surface Disease Index Questionnaire, Tearscope examination, meibometry, tear film breakup time, corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining, Schirmer I test, corneal aesthesiometry, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) assessment and conjunctival impression cytology. 28 healthy subjects were also enrolled and treated with the same clinical tests. A statistical analysis of the results was performed.

Results Patients with psoriasis showed a significant deterioration of the ocular surface tests, if compared with healthy subjects, demonstrated by tear film lipid layer alteration, tear film instability, corneal and conjunctival epithelial suffering and mild squamous metaplasia at impression cytology. No differences were found in ocular surface test results of the psoriatic group when patients were divided according to the presence of arthritis, whereas the anti-inflammatory treatment with biological drugs demonstrated a significant improvement of corneal stain and MGD.

Conclusions Our findings suggest that the ocular surface involvement in patients with psoriasis indicates the need of periodic ophthalmological examinations to diagnose the condition and allow a proper treatment, so contributing to the amelioration of patients’ quality of life.

  • Tears
  • Ocular surface
  • Conjuctiva
  • Cornea

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