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Evaluating the association of serum and tear IgE levels in keratoconus patients with and without allergic eye disease

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session: Cornea III

Venue: Poster Village: Pod 2

First Author: : P.Khamar INDIA

Co Author(s): :    R. Shetty   A. Ghosh   S. Sethu   P. Kusumgar     

Abstract Details


IgE plays a major role in mediating allergic response and symptoms such as itching. Allergy induced eye rubbing is thought to be a critical contributor to keratoconus (KC) disease progression. We therefore designed this study to correlate the serum and tear IgE levels with different grades of KC to elucidate any potential association allergy mediators with KC severity.




34 eyes (17 subjects) with KC and 82 eyes (41 subjects) with allergic eye disease (AED) and KC were enrolled after prior written consent and approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee. Pre- operative and post-operative retinoscopy, slit lamp biomicroscopy and topography using Pentacam (Oculus) and Orbscan was done to classify into different grades of severity as per the Amsler-Krumeich grades. Total levels of IgE in the serum and tears collected from the subjects were estimated in by ELISA and cytometric bead array respectively.


Serum IgE levels were significantly elevated in KC+AED group (1400+/-97,IU/ml) compared to KC only (546+/-179,IU/ml) subjects. Furthermore, the tear IgE levels were also significantly elevated in KC+AED (1584+/-736,ng/ml) over KC (635+/-321,ng/ml) suggesting that systemic factors do influence the local IgE levels on the ocular surface. Within the KC group, we observed a clear trend of increasing serum IgE levels across grades I (39+/-3,IU/ml), II (484+/-219,IU/ml) and III (840+/-402, IU/ml). A similar trend was also observed across grades in the tear IgE levels. However, serum and tear IgE levels across grades of KC+AED remained high, without any trends.


The data supports the hypothesis that IgE may be an important contributing factor in the pathogenesis of not only in AED, but in KC as well. The higher basal levels in serum and tears of high grade KC suggest a larger mechanistic role for IgE, highlighting the possibility of targeted treatment in reducing the elevated local and systemic levels of IgE. Furthermore, the differences in tear IgE levels in the absence of serum level changes suggests its location specific relevance in mediating ocular surface conditions.

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