Study evaluates Corneal Epithelial Thickness and Dry Eye Dis
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A Study was conducted to assess dry eye disease (DED) in thalassemic adolescents by evaluating corneal epithelial thickness (CET) and various dry eye clinical tests and correlate them to tissue iron overload.

The study included 120 Beta-thalassemia patients and 120 matched controls. CET maps were captured using anterior segment optical coherence tomography. OSDI questionnaire was completed. Dry eye tests included Schirmer test, tear film breakup time (TBUT), and ocular surface staining (OSS) with fluorescein and lissamine green. Researchers recorded serum ferritin level, and liver iron concentration (LIC) measured by magnetic resonance imaging.

Results:
--Superior and inferior CET was thinner, while map standard deviation (MSD) was higher in thalassemics compared to controls.

--Thalassemic group also showed higher OSDI scores, shorter TBUT, and higher OSS grades.

--Both superior and inferior CET was correlated positively with TBUT, and negatively with OSS.

--Serum ferritin and LIC showed negative correlations with CET, positive correlations with MSD, as well as with TBUT, OSS, and OSDI scores.

Finally, compared to controls, Thalassemic adolescents had a thinner CET with higher thickness variability, a shorter TBUT, and a more pronounced OSS. Higher serum ferritin and hepatic iron overload have been linked to abnormal epithelial thinning and more impaired dry eye test results in thalassemic patients, implying that elevated tissue iron levels may play a key role in DED pathogenesis.

Source: https://www.dovepress.com/evaluation-of-corneal-epithelial-thickness-and-dry-eye-disease-tests-i-peer-reviewed-article-OPTH
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