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Comparison of tear osmolarity in rheumatoid arthritis patients with and without secondary Sjögren’s syndrome

Poster Details

First Author: A.Ng HONG KONG

Co Author(s):    B. Choy   M. Mok                 

Abstract Details


To compare the tear osmolarity (TO) and other dry eye parameters in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with or without secondary Sjögren’s syndrome (sSS).


The University of Hong Kong and the Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong


Consecutive cases of RA patients were divided into sSS group and no-sSS group using conventional diagnostic criteria by rheumatologist using symptomatology, Schirmer’s score and the anti-Ro or anti-La autoantibody status. The TO, ocular surface disease index, dry eye disease (DED) parameters (such as tear break-up time (TBUT) and corneal staining score), and the systemic inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP) were compared. Correlation analysis between TO and the DED parameters and inflammatory markers were also performed.


Total of 42 cases with mean age 54.8 ± 12.3 were included, with 12 patients (29%) having sSS and 30 (71%) without sSS. The TO was increased in both groups (329 ± 20 mOsms/L and 319 ± 25 mOsms/L respectively), but no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups (p=0.126). RA with sSS had significantly higher TBUT, corneal staining score and ESR CRP levels (p<0.05). TO did not correlate with the Schirmer’s score, but had significant positive correlations with age, corneal staining score, ESR and CRP, and a significant negative correlation with TBUT.


The tear osmolarity was increased in RA patients with or without 2SS. There was no significant correlation between TO and Schirmer's scare, and the physician could not utilize tear osmolarity to diagnose 2SS. However, TO correlated well with both the DED parameters (TBUT, corneal staining score) and the systemic inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP).

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