Patients with dry eye may have a significant increase in aqueous humor flare, which could indicate a disruption of the blood-aqueous barrier and deeper tissue involvement, new research suggests.

In this cross-sectional study, investigators compared the anterior chamber flare of 28 dry eye disease (DED) patients and 27 normal age- and gender- matched controls. The DED group was divided into two groups: 10 patients with Sjӧgren’s syndrome (SS) DED and 18 with non-SS dry eye. Patients in the dry eye group were about 53 years old and subjects in the control group were roughly 49 years old.

The researchers observed significantly higher flare in the DED group (12.1 ± 10.2ph/ms) compared with the controls (5.0 ± 3.9ph/ms), but didn’t find a statistically significant difference in the flare intensity between the SS dry eye group (14.5 ± 14.4 ph/ms) and the non-SS dry eye group (10.8 ± 6.9 ph/ms).

In patients with Sjӧgren’s syndrome, the study found a significant correlation between flare intensity and ocular surface staining.

Aghaei H, Kheirkhah A, Es' haghi A, et al. Disruption of blood-aqueous barrier in dry eye disease. The Ocular Surface. October 13, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].