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Conference Roundup
Cornea and External Disease

What Causes Eye-Rubbing in Patients with Keratoconus?

Posted on August 17, 2018

High IgE levels in serum and tears appears to play a role in patients with keratoconus, whether they have allergic eye disease (AED) or not, according to a study involving 70 individuals. Results were presented by Ritika Dalal, MBBS, a consultant at Customized Refractive Surgery and Advanced Dry Eye Clinic in Mumbai, India, during the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s 2018 annual meeting in Washington, DC. 

Participants included patients with keratoconus (n=25), keratoconus and AED (n=20) and controls (n=25). All had a history of eye rubbing but no ocular/systemic allergies. Investigators performed slit-lamp and topography, and then collected and analyzed tears for IgE and other cytokines. Among the results: 

  • Substantially higher tear IgE and IL-13 levels were seen in patients with keratoconus regardless of AED status, vs controls. 
  • Higher levels were seen in those with increasing grades of keratoconus.
  • Higher levels of tear IL-2, MIG, CD62L, VCAM, ICAM1 RANTES were noted in all patients with keratoconus, vs controls. 

Dalal R. Cellular biomarkers of eye rubbing and its impact on keratoconus management. Talk presented at: 2018 ASCRS-ASOA Annual Meeting; April 13-17, 2018; Washington, DC.
 

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