Thermal Pulsation With or With out Dextenza for MGD


    Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is outlined by the Tear Movie and Ocular Floor Society (TFOS) as

    a persistent, diffuse abnormality of the meibomian glands, generally characterised by terminal duct obstruction and/or qualitative/quantitative adjustments within the glandular secretion … [that] might end in alteration of the tear movie, signs of eye irritation, clinically obvious irritation, and ocular floor illness

    and will be the main reason for dry eye illness all through the world.1 Its prevalence ranges from ~4–20% in Caucasian populations and will have an effect on greater than 60% of some Asian populations.1

    As a result of a paucity of well-designed and appropriately powered medical research, the medical strategy to MGD is neither standardized nor evidence-based. Lid hygiene, coupled with lid warming and compression, are generally advisable, however directions by suppliers and methods employed by sufferers differ considerably. Antibiotics with or with out steroids are additionally generally prescribed, with a meta-analysis demonstrating the advantages of topical azithromycin on short-term enchancment of tear movie high quality2 and a number of other research demonstrating enhancements in tear movie inflammatory mediators, gland expressibility, and/or medical signs with the usage of topical corticosteroids.3–5

    Built-in methods using a mix of warmth and directed strain on the eyelids to facilitate expression of meibum from inspissated or blocked meibomian glands have been developed and commercialized for the remedy of MGD.6 One such system (LipiFlow, Johnson & Johnson) is designed to heat the lid to melt and liquify meibum and compress the lid with a sequence of peristaltic proximal-to-distal pulses to specific liquified meibum from dysfunctional glands. In its pivotal trial and subsequent research, this remedy considerably improved each meibomian gland operate and medical signs of ocular floor illness.6–10

    We have now carried out a potential subject-masked trial to match the consequences of thermal pulsation remedy with the LipiFlow system with or with out the dexamethasone intracanalicular insert (Dextenza, Ocular Therapeutix) on the indicators and signs of MGD. The insert is a rod-shaped hydrogel matrix incorporating 0.4 mg preservative-free dexamethasone, is positioned within the canaliculus, and offers sustained-release supply of dexamethasone to the ocular floor for 30 days.11–13 It’s at the moment permitted in america for the management of postoperative ache and irritation following ocular surgical procedure.14


    This was a single-center, open-label, potential, non-randomized, subject-masked, sham-controlled trial. The protocol was reviewed and permitted by the Western IRB on 7/2/2020. The examine was registered at (NCT04413279) on 6/2/2020. Contributors have been enrolled between 8/5/2020 and 4/14/2021; all individuals supplied written knowledgeable consent. The examine was carried out in accordance with the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.15

    Eligible topics have been adults aged 18 years or older with historical past of evaporative dry eye illness, meibomian gland dysfunction, and clinically vital irritation as evidenced by ocular floor staining and/or conjunctival hyperemia and/or elevated MMP-9 ranges. Exclusion standards included ocular or nonocular an infection, compromised nasolacrimal circulation, or concurrent use of or contraindications to corticosteroids. Consecutive eligible topics have been invited to take part within the examine.

    All topics underwent a medical analysis to determine eligibility consisting of uncorrected and best-corrected visible acuity (UCVA and BCVA), meibomian gland evaluation, tear movie osmolarity (TearLab) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9; Inflammadry, Quidel) evaluation, corneal fluorescein and conjunctival lissamine inexperienced staining, tear break-up time (TBUT), intraocular strain (IOP), and a dilated eye examination. Meibomian gland evaluation mirrored the methodology within the pivotal LipiFlow trial10 and consisted of grading the standard of meibum expression from 15 glands alongside the decrease eyelid, 5 every from the temporal, central, and nasal areas, and every graded on a 0–3 scale as follows: 3, clear liquid secretions; 2, cloudy liquid secretions; 1, inspissated/toothpaste consistency; and 0, no secretions. A composite meibomian gland expressibility rating starting from 0 to 45 (with decrease scores representing worse illness) was tabulated by summing the grades of all 15 glands assessed. Corneal fluorescein staining was graded from 0 to three (none to heavy staining) in 5 areas (superior, inferior, nasal, temporal, and central) and summed for a corneal staining rating. Conjunctival lissamine inexperienced staining was graded on the identical 0–3 scale in 6 areas (3 nasal and three temporal) and summed for a conjunctival staining rating. Corneal and conjunctival scores have been summed to supply an general ocular floor staining rating. Topics additionally accomplished the validated DEQ-5 Dry Eye Questionnaire, which characterizes the presence and severity of ocular discomfort, dryness, and watering; attainable scores vary from 0 to 22 with greater scores representing worse signs.16

    Qualifying topics underwent bilateral thermal pulsation remedy with the LipiFlow system 1–30 days later. The process has been described intimately beforehand8–10 and was carried out in accordance with the producer’s instructions. Briefly, below topical anesthesia, the activator was positioned on the attention such that the corneal protect rested on the ocular floor (vaulting the cornea to guard it from warmth) and the inflatable bladder rested on the lid floor. Over a 12-minute remedy interval, the lids have been gently heated and expressed with repeated vectored strain pulses. Following the process, the DEX insert was positioned within the inferior canaliculus of the extra symptomatic eye (the DEX group), and the inferior punctum of the man eye was dilated utilizing a punctal dilator to imitate insert placement to realize affected person masking to remedy (the SHAM group). No anti-inflammatory remedy was utilized to the SHAM eye in the course of the examine, though sufferers have been permitted to proceed heat compresses and lid scrubs in both or each eyes at their discretion, and to proceed routine dry eye remedies akin to topical immunomodulators and/or oral omega fatty acid dietary supplements. Topics have been re-evaluated 1, 4, and 12 weeks later, at which era all assessments listed above have been repeated and security assessed. Moreover at week 12, topics accomplished the validated Comparisons of Ophthalmic Drugs for Tolerability (COMTOL) questionnaire17 tailored for the remedies utilized on this examine.

    The primary key consequence measure of this examine was the change from baseline in meibomian gland expressibility scores at weeks 1, 4, and 12 and was in contrast between remedy teams utilizing paired t-tests as between-group information have been drawn from correlated fellow-eye pairs. The second key consequence measure was affected person choice for remedy as measured by the COMTOL instrument at week 12. Secondary outcomes included imply adjustments in BCVA, tear movie osmolarity, MMP-9 positivity charges, ocular floor staining scores, TBUT, and DEQ-5 scores from baseline to weeks 1, 4, and 12; these have been additionally analyzed utilizing paired t-tests apart from the dichotomous MMP-9 parameter for which the Fisher Actual Take a look at was utilized. Security outcomes included the character and incidence of adversarial occasions. No formal energy evaluation was carried out a priori; quite, a comfort pattern in line with current prior research of comparable design and function (40 eyes of 20 topics) was chosen.18–20


    General, 20 topics have been enrolled. No sufferers had beforehand undergone microblepharoexfoliation, thermal pulsation, or intense pulsed gentle remedy up to now 12 months. Their imply (customary deviation) age was 59.2 (11.1) years, 18/20 (90%) have been feminine, and 19/20 (95%) recognized themselves as white. DEX insertion was not attainable in 1 topic who was excluded from all outcomes analyses; all different topics accomplished the trial.

    Imply meibomian gland expressibility scores and different outcomes information at every time level are given in Desk 1. In DEX-treated eyes, vital enhancements from baseline have been seen in meibomian gland expressibility scores at post-treatment time factors (P<0.0001), ocular floor staining scores at 1 (P=0.035) and 4 weeks (P<0.001), and TBUT in any respect time factors (P<0.037). In SHAM-treated eyes, vital enhancements from baseline have been seen in expressibility scores in any respect time factors (P<0.0001) and TBUT at week 4 (P=0.020). Considerably larger enhancements have been seen in DEX eyes in comparison with SHAM eyes for expressibility scores at 12 weeks (P=0.027), ocular floor staining rating at 4 weeks (P=0.028), and TBUT at 12 weeks (P=0.028). In each remedy teams, the speed of MMP-9 positivity decreased by 16–46% throughout all visits; these weren’t vital adjustments inside or between teams. Considerably larger enhancements in SHAM eyes in comparison with DEX eyes weren’t seen for any parameters at any time level.

    Desk 1 Meibomian Gland Expressibility Scores and Different Endpoint Knowledge by Remedy Group and Time Level

    Symptom scores on the DEQ-5 improved from baseline at every post-treatment go to. Imply DEQ-5 scores have been 12.3 (4.4) at baseline, 11.1 (4.7) at week 1 (P=0.132), 10.3 (5.1) at week 4 (P=0.078), and 9.1 (5.9) at week 12 (P=0.019). The DEQ-5 is an individual-level and never eye-level instrument and can’t assess variations between eyes. The COMTOL instrument, nonetheless, is designed to match remedy experiences in topics uncovered to each remedies. Of the 18 topics reporting a remedy choice utilizing the COMTOL instrument, 11 (61.1%) most popular LipiFlow with DEX and seven (38.9%) most popular LipiFlow with SHAM. One topic reported no choice between remedies.

    Each the thermal pulsation remedy and the DEX insert have been secure and effectively tolerated on this pattern. No adversarial occasions have been famous in both group. Imply BCVA and IOP remained steady all through follow-up (Desk 2). No sufferers had an IOP rise >10 mmHg; a single affected person had an 8-mm IOP rise within the eye receiving DEX from 15 mmHg at baseline to 23 mmHg at week 4 that resolved with out intervention.

    Desk 2 Finest-Corrected Visible Acuity (BCVA) and Intraocular Strain (IOP) Security Knowledge by Remedy Group and Time Level


    On this potential, sham-controlled, non-randomized examine, thermal pulsation remedy + DEX supplied considerably larger enchancment in meibomian gland expressibility and TBUT at 12 weeks and in ocular floor staining at 4 weeks in comparison with thermal pulsation remedy + SHAM. The bulk (61%) of sufferers present process thermal pulsation lid remedy for symptomatic MGD most popular mixed remedy with the DEX insert over sham remedy (39%). The interventions assessed on this examine have been secure and effectively tolerated by all examine individuals.

    The therapeutic advantages of thermal pulsation lid remedy on symptomatic MGD have been completely characterised within the literature6,8,10,21–41 and a meta-analysis demonstrated its superiority over heat compress remedy for treating dry eye illness.42 The good thing about corticosteroid remedy for MGD is much less effectively characterised. Typically, transient remedy with steroids are helpful within the setting of acute inflammatory flares of ocular floor illness, whereas the long-term unintended effects of steroids—together with elevated IOP and cataract formation—preclude their persistent use.43–45

    The DEX insert is a formulation of dexamethasone designed for sustained-release drug supply over a 30-day interval.11–13 It’s permitted in america for the management of ache and irritation following ocular surgical procedure,14 and its position in postoperative care has been demonstrated following cataract extraction in adults11,12,46–48 and youngsters,49 pars plana vitrectomy,20 in addition to refractive surgical procedures.18,19,50 Section 2 and three trials have additionally evaluated DEX for persistent irritation related to allergic conjunctivitis and reported short-term enhancements in itching and conjunctival hyperemia.51–53 Given the position of irritation in MGD, we hypothesized on this examine that DEX might present further therapeutic profit when mixed with thermal pulsation remedy for MGD. The DEX insert has a number of options to assist this speculation. First, it offers short-term pulsed remedy with a diminishing dose over time to attenuate problems associated to IOP and cataract formation54,55 and with minimal systemic absorption.56 Second, it’s preservative-free, which is vital given the pro-inflammatory nature of preservatives in ophthalmic formulations and their adversarial results on ocular floor illness.57 Third, its anti-inflammatory mechanism of motion is complementary to that of thermal pulsation remedy, favoring additivity of efficacy.

    On this examine, each remedy teams demonstrated vital enhancements in meibomian gland expressibility, however the enchancment was considerably larger in eyes handled with thermal pulsation remedy + DEX. Equally, TBUT was considerably improved within the DEX (however not the SHAM) group at 12 weeks, and ocular floor staining was improved within the DEX (however not the SHAM) group at week 4. All the vital within-group adjustments from baseline indicated enchancment, and all vital between-group variations favored mixture remedy with DEX. This was an anticipated consequence of the examine, as prior research supported the advantages of corticosteroid remedy for MGD.3–5 Thus it’s possible that affected person choice favored mixture remedy given the higher outcomes on this group.

    Strengths of this examine embody its potential nature in addition to the usage of sham remedy for topic masking. Limitations embody each a comparatively small pattern measurement and a brief examine length given the persistent nature of MGD.

    In abstract, now we have demonstrated a big profit of mixing thermal pulsation remedy with the dexamethasone intracanalicular insert on indicators of MGD together with TBUT and meibomian gland expressibility rating. Consequently, the vast majority of sufferers most popular mixture remedy to thermal pulsation remedy alone.

    Knowledge Sharing Assertion

    The investigators will contemplate cheap requests for sharing of the de-identified information set upon request to the corresponding writer.


    Sponsorship for this examine was supplied by Ocular Therapeutix.


    Dr Damon S Dierker studies grants and private charges from Ocular Therapeutix, in the course of the conduct of the examine; private charges from Aerie, Alcon, Allergan, Azura, Bio-Tissue, Eyevance, Johnson & Johnson, Kala Prescription drugs, Lumenis, Novartis, Oyster Level Pharma, Quidel, ScienceBased Well being, Scope, Sight Sciences, Solar Pharma, Tarsus, TearLab, and Thea Prescription drugs, exterior the submitted work. Dr Scott G Hauswirth studies private charges from Ocular Therapeutix, in the course of the conduct of the examine; private charges from Dompe, Kala Prescription drugs, Solar Prescription drugs, Takeda, Oyster Level, Sight Sciences, Horizon Prescription drugs, and NuSight Medical; non-financial assist from TearRestore and Science Primarily based Well being for advisory work, exterior the submitted work. The authors report no different conflicts of curiosity on this work.


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