To assess the effect of a novel intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy on tear proteins and lipids in eyes with Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Twenty-four eyes of 12 patients with MGD were recruited and received five overlapping flashes (565-1400 nm) directed at the lower eyelid. The IPL parameters include intensity: 2.5 to 6.5 J/cm2, voltage: 100 to 240 V, frequency: 50 to 60 Hz, input: 16 W, maximum optical energy: 23 J, pulse duration: <2.0 ms, and repetition time: 1-3.5 s. Tear samples were evaluated immediately before and 2 weeks after IPL therapy and included measurements of protein concentration, electrophoretic mobility by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, lipid profile assessments, and thin-layer chromatography (TLC) for phospholipids.
Significant improvements were observed in tear protein concentrations and molecular weight after IPL therapy. The most pronounced effect was in the molecular weight of tear lysozyme, lactoferrin, and albumin. Tear lipids showed an improvement in the concentrations of total lipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, and phospholipids. On TLC, the tears in patients with MGD had significantly lower amounts of anionic phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidylserine but amounts zwitterionic neutral phospholipid phosphatidylcholine were normal. These anionic phospholipids showed obvious recovery after IPL therapy.
IPL therapy is effective in eyes with MGD. It improved tear protein and lipid content and composition. The anionic phospholipids were more responsive to IPL therapy than were the other zwitterionic phospholipids.