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Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy in meibomian gland dysfunction-related dry eye disease: our initial experience in a Chinese population

Poster Details

First Author: S.Yuk HONG KONG

Co Author(s):    J. Chuang   J. Lai   V. Jhanji   L. Tong   K. Shih        

Abstract Details


Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is one of the leading causes of dry eye disease (DED) and its prevalence is reported to be almost 70% in Asian populations. Treatment of MGD includes lid warming devices, heat therapy, topical steroids and cyclosporine, anti-microbial agents and oral supplements. Recently, it has been discovered that IPL therapy improved MGD and DED symptoms in rosacea patients. However, there are only limited studies on its clinical efficacy and safety on MGD patients, especially in Asian population. Hence, this case series was performed as a prospective trial to explore the effects of IPL on Asian MGD patients.


This is a single center prospective case series conducted in Lo Fong Siu Po Eye Center, Grantham Hospital, Hong Kong SAR.


13 subjects with moderate to severe MGD and is on at least one lubricating topical eyedrop were recruited. MGD was graded according to grading scale described by Bron et al. Among the 13 subjects recruited, 10 subjects completed three courses of IPL therapy spaced 15 days apart. The other 3 subjects defaulted follow-up or refused further treatment. Each IPL treatment was followed immediately by meibomian gland expression with gentle pressure via cotton bud. Treatment outcomes were assessed with meibum expressibility and quality, ocular surface disease index (OSDI) scores, non-invasive keratometric tear break-up times (NIKBUT) and tear meniscus height (TMH).


All patients demonstrated an improvement in meibum quality and expressibility after IPL treatment, resulting in drop in MGD grading. There was also statistically significant improvement in OSDI scores from average baseline of 23.3 +/- 16.02 to 6.00 +/- 6.96 at 1-month post treatment (p=0.003). Post-treatment increase in NIKBUT was observed, but results were not statistically significant. (p>0.05). There was also no significant change in TMH. No patients experienced serious adverse events. 3 patients experienced mild pain during procedure, 1 had blepharospasm, 1 had skin erythema and 1 complained of skin dryness. All adverse events resolved within 1-week post treatment.


IPL treatment is potentially a safe and effective treatment for MGD related DED in Asian populations. Further multi-center randomized controlled trials will be needed to assess its long term outcomes.

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