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Cornea. 2002 Oct;21(7 Suppl):S70-4.

Anatomy and histopathology of human meibomian gland.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Kumamoto, Japan.



To investigate histopathologic changes in human meibomian gland.


Human meibomian gland samples were obtained at autopsy from 50 men and 33 women aged from 17 to 87 years with a mean age (+/- SD) of 61 +/- 13 years. Pieces of tarsal plate measuring 3 x 3 mm including meibomian glands were excised from the center of both upper eyelids, then fixed and embedded in paraffin. Sections 4-microm thick were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and periodic acid-Schiff. Light microscopy was used to observe any histopathologic changes.


The following histopathologic changes were observed: (1) cystic dilatation of acini and/or ducts, (2) atrophy of acini, (3) basement membrane thickening of acini, (4) granulation tissue, and (5) lipogranulomatous inflammation.


Various histopathologic changes were observed in the human meibomian gland. Hyperkeratinization of ductal epithelium and atrophy of acinar cells may cause meibomian gland dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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