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    Imaging technology advances meibomian gland visualization

    Next-generation tool helps determine lipid deficiency, detect MGD in earliest phases


    Advances to an imaging technology may assist clinicians in improving a diagnosis of meibomian gland dysfunction with objective examination of patients’ tear film lipid layer, blink profile, and meibomian gland structure and function.

    Rockville Centre, NY—A new iteration of an imaging technology is in the pipeline to provide more accurate visualization of the meibomian gland structure. 

    The device (LipiView II with Dynamic Meibomian Imaging, TearScience) includes two novel imaging technologies (Dynamic Illumination and Adaptive Transillumination). Both technologies independently generate images of the glands that then are processed, displayed, and combined for improved visualization and more accurate diagnosis.

    “Eye-care providers must examine both gland function and structure when diagnosing meibomian gland dysfunction,” said Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, founding partner of Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island and Connecticut, clinical professor of ophthalmology, New York University Medical Center, New York, and a trustee of Dartmouth Medical School.

    “The [technology] helps clinicians evaluate gland structure, measure lipid layer thickness, and determine if partial blinking plays a role in the disease,” Dr. Donnenfeld said.

    The images are also helpful in patient education. Individuals with dry eye can see the effect of the disease on the glands and understand the importance of instituting treatment before the disease progresses, he said.

    In patients with dry eye disease, he explained, the subsequent morphologic changes are secondary to obstruction of the meibomian glands. Early obstruction is characterized by decreased gland function with dilation of the central duct. Prolonged gland obstruction results in further duct dilation and the onset of atrophy of acini and shrinkage. In advanced obstruction, gland drop out can be seen.

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