Purpose: The aim of our study is to confirm the utility of warm compresses (WC) and artificial tears (AT) in meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) management and to understand if its association with topical cyclosporine A (CsA) improves outcomes. Methods: Patients with diagnosis of MGD-related dry eye were evaluated. In this prospective, randomized, double-masked study, patients were randomized in two treatments: AT plus WC (group A), and AT plus WC plus CsA 0.05% ophthalmic emulsion (group B). At baseline and at 1, 3, and 6 months, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire was completed, and tear evaluation (BUT, Schirmer and osmolarity test), ocular surface evaluation (fluorescein and lissamine green staining), clinical (Shimazaki grading) and in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) evaluation of rete ridges (RRs) were performed. Results: A total of 40 eyes, 20 in each group, completed the study. Analysis of OSDI, tear test, ocular surface evaluation and clinical grading of MG showed significant improvement at 6 months, whereas no difference was found between the two groups at 6 months. The analysis of IVCM showed significant improvement in both groups, but significantly better results in group B were found compared to group A at 6 months. Conclusion: WC performed 3 times daily during the 1st month and once daily afterwards, in addition to AT, were useful to manage the obstruction of MG and related signs and symptoms. Additional effects of CsA were visible in IVCM only at 6 months. IVCM is an effective tool to monitor treatments in MGD.
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