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Significant correlation between meibomian gland dysfunction and keratitis in young patients with Demodex brevis infestation


Aims To report the clinical characteristics and correlation between meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and keratitis in young patients with ocular demodicosis.

Methods Observational case series of 60 patients younger than 35 years with ocular demodicosis, of which the diagnosis was based on microscopic counting of Demodex folliculorum and D. brevis of epilated lashes. Severity of keratitis and MGD was graded by photography and meibography, respectively, in a masked fashion.

Results MGD was detected in 54/60 (90%) patients with the loss of meibomian gland in the upper lid more than the lower lid (p<0.001). Blepharoconjunctivitis and a variety of corneal pathologies were noted in 47/60 (78.3%) and 39/60 (65%) patients, respectively. For a total of 120 eyes, normal cornea was noted in 53 (44.2%) eyes, superficial punctate keratitis or limbitis was noted in 17 (14.2%), while corneal stromal infiltration was found in 50 (41.7%) eyes. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that the severity of meibomian gland loss was significantly correlated with higher D. brevis count and more severe keratitis (all p<0.05). Rapid resolution of keratitis and blepharoconjunctivitis was accompanied by significant reduction of the Demodex count in 48 patients receiving lid scrub directed to kill mites.

Conclusions There is a significant correlation between MGD and keratitis in young patients with ocular demodicosis especially inflicted by D. brevis.

  • ocular surface
  • inflammation

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