Patients with moderate to severe meibomean gland disease (MGD) may benefit from a combined treatment regimen that includes intense pulsed light (IPL) and meibomian gland expression, since a new study in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye reports this combination resulted in improved symptoms, gland function and MMP-9 levels.

The retrospective investigation enrolled 45 eyes of 23 patients with moderate and severe MGD. Each eye underwent three IPL sessions and meibomian gland expression at two-week intervals. The study parameters included tear film break-up time (TBUT), corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining scores, biomicroscopic examination of lid margins and meibomian glands, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scores and extracellular MMP-9 levels before and two weeks after the last treatment session.

The researchers reported significant improvements in TBUT, ocular staining scores, lid margin irregularity, lid thickness, meibomian gland plugging, meibum color and consistency, MGD grade and OSDI scores. Additionally, incidence of positive results for MMP-9 immunoassay significantly decreased from 84% to 56% after treatment.

Lee H, Han YE, Park SO. Changes in the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 after intense pulsed light therapy combined with meibomian gland expression in moderate and severe meibomian gland dysfunction. Cont Lens Ant Eye. September 15, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].