• Written By:
    Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus

    In this study, investigators report the prevalence of meibomian gland atrophy and gland tortuosity in a pediatric population.

    Study design

    The cross-sectional study recruited 99 children between the age of 4 and 17 with no history of dry eye disease or Meibomian gland dysfunction. Investigators gathered Meibography images and used the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) questionnaire to evaluate subjective symptoms.


    The mean meiboscore was 0.58 (scale 0–4; 4 is most severe) and mean gland tortuosity score was 0.45 (scale 0–2; 2 is most severe). Approximately 42% of patients had evidence of meibomian gland atrophy, the majority of which was mild.

    The presence of gland atrophy was not significantly associated with age, sex or race and. Males were significantly more likely to have gland tortuosity (OR 3.36; P=0.0124).


    The sample as derived from a single tertiary care center, thus the results may not be generalizable to all populations.

    Clinical significance

    To date, little is known about the prevalence of Meibomian gland atrophy in pediatric populations. The findings here suggest Meibomian gland atrophy is a common condition in an asymptomatic pediatric population.

    Clinicians should examine young patients for gland atrophy as this may have future implications for development of dry eye disease.