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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1628469, 8 pages
Research Article

Ocular Surface Epithelial Thickness Evaluation in Dry Eye Patients: Clinical Correlations

1Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Eye Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Beijing 100005, China
2INSERM, U968, 75012 Paris, France
3UPMC Université Paris 06, UMR_S 968, Institut de la Vision, 75012 Paris, France
4CNRS, UMR_7210, 75012 Paris, France
5Quinze-Vingts National Ophthalmology Hospital, 75012 Paris, France
6Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University, 78000 Versailles, France

Received 31 October 2015; Revised 31 December 2015; Accepted 31 December 2015

Academic Editor: Taras Ardan

Copyright © 2016 Qingfeng Liang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To evaluate the relationship between corneal and conjunctival epithelium thickness and ocular surface clinical tests in dry eye disease (DED) patients. Patients and Methods. Fifty-four patients with DED and 32 control subjects were included. Each patient underwent an ocular surface evaluation using the ocular surface disease index (OSDI), tear film break-up time (TBUT), corneal and conjunctival staining, tear film lipid layer analysis, and Schirmer test. The central corneal (CET), limbal (LET), and bulbar conjunctival epithelium thickness (BET) were acquired using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Results. Compared to control subjects, mean BET was significantly thicker and mean LET was significantly lower in the DED group. There was no significant difference in mean CET between the two groups. The mean LET was correlated with OSDI and TBUT. The inferior LET was correlated with OSDI, Schirmer I test, TBUT, Oxford score, and corneal sensitivity. Mean BET was correlated with OSDI and TBUT, but not with Schirmer I test and Oxford score. Conclusions. In dry eye patients, a thinner limbal epithelium and a thicker bulbar conjunctival epithelium were observed. These changes were correlated to the severity of dry eye symptoms and tear film alterations.