Microvascular abnormalities in dry eye patients

Wan Chen, Yuqing Deng, Hong Jiang, Jianhua Wang, Jing Zhong, Saiqun Li, Lulu Peng, Bowen Wang, Ruhui Yang, Henan Zhang, Meng Li, Jin Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to evaluate conjunctival blood flow velocities and microvascular network density in patients with dry eye disease (DED). Twenty-five patients with DED and 25 healthy controls were recruited. The microvasculature and microcirculation of the temporal bulbar conjunctiva of the right eyes were assessed using a functional slit-lamp biomicroscope. Vascular variables included blood flow velocity (BFV), blood flow rate (BFR), microvascular network density and vessel diameter. A fractal analysis was performed using the box counting method to measure the fractal dimension (Dbox) representing the vessel density. The bulbar BFV was 0.59 ± 0.09 mm/s in the DED group and 0.47 ± 0.12 in the control group (P < 0.001). BFR was 169.5 ± 1.8 in the DED group compared to the control group (107.2 ± 49.6) (P < 0.001). Dbox was higher in DED patients (1.65 ± 0.04) than controls (1.60 ± 0.07, P < 0.05). Moreover, the vessel diameter was larger in the DED group (21.8 ± 1.8 μm) compared with controls (17.9 ± 2.2 μm, P < 0.001). Dbox was positively related with ocular surface disease index (OSDI) in patients with DED (r = 0.54, P = 0.008). Microvascular alterations were found in the bulbar conjunctiva of DED patients, including increased blood flow velocity, higher vessel density and larger vessel diameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalMicrovascular Research
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Blood flow velocity
  • Dry eye disease
  • Functional slit lamp biomicroscopy (FSLB)
  • Non-invasive bulbar conjunctival microvascular perfusion maps (nMPMs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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