PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of expression treatment on meibomian gland disease (MGD). METHODS: Seventeen right eyes of 17 patients with MGD were divided into 3 groups in this randomized prospective clinical study: no expression group: routine treatment with no expression (five patients, five eyes); digital expression group: routine treatment with digital expression (five patients, five eyes); and plate expression group: routine treatment with plate expression (seven patients, seven eyes). All groups received the same routine treatment for 1 month. Tear film break-up time (TBUT), vital staining scores, meibum expressibility, and the dry eye-related quality of life score (DEQS) questionnaire results were assessed before and 1 month after treatment. RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference of posttreatment TBUT among groups as determined by one-way analysis of variance (P<0.05). A post hoc test revealed that TBUT was statistically significantly higher in plate expression group compared with digital expression group. The fluorescein staining score did not show a statistically significant difference among the groups. Meibum expressibility and the DEQS scores improved in all groups. CONCLUSION: Plate expression when used as an adjunct to routine medical management of MGD has been found to be a comparatively effective treatment in terms of improvement of tear film stability compared with no expression or digital expression.
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