Strip meniscometry is a recent diagnostic test for evaluating dry eye disease (DED). It is considered minimally invasive because the strip only comes into contact with the lower tear meniscus, leaving the cornea, conjunctiva, lids or adnexa untouched.1 The amount of tear film on the ocular surface is the measure of the amount of fluid drawn into the strip capillary.1 Two recent studies have advocated strip meniscometry’s use as a test to detect DED.

One study conducted in New Delhi sought to compare strip meniscometry and lower tear meniscus height and depth with tear break-up time (TBUT) and Schirmer’s I test as a way to determine aqueous deficient DED in 120 eyes. The other diagnostic tests revealed a cutoff value of <5mm for the strip test, 204.96µm for meniscus height and 190µm for meniscus depth, all of which were highly sensitive and specific for DED. Researchers believe the short testing time with strip meniscometry precludes any ocular surface irritation or patient discomfort. They believe the new test may be a good screening tool before refractive surgeries, penetrating keratoplasties or cataract surgery to identify those at risk for future ocular surface disease.1

Researchers in Glasgow compared strip meniscometry with fluorophotometry for quantitative assessment of the tear film and also as a diagnostic tool for aqueous-deficient DED. In this study, strip meniscometry showed 67% sensitivity and 88% specificity for diagnosing DED. The test also showed significant correlation with tear turnover rate measurements, suggesting it is a suitable surrogate for turnover rates and fluorophotometry. The researchers noted that they do expect the test to have higher sensitivity in parallel with other diagnostic tests, such as TBUT.2

The two studies together add more weight to the growing push to adopt strip meniscometry for evaluating DED due to it being cheap, quick to administer, easily available and highly effective.

1. Singh A, Vanathi M, Kishore A, et al. Evaluation of strip meniscometry, tear meniscus height and depth in the diagnosis of dry eye disease in Asian Indian eyes. Ocul Surf. July 3, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].

2. Alshammeri S, Madden L, Hagan S, Pearce EI. Strip meniscometry tube: a rapid method for assessing aqueous deficient dry eye. Clin Exp Optom. July 4, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].