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Eye Vis (Lond). 2016 Aug 4;3:19. doi: 10.1186/s40662-016-0051-9. eCollection 2016.

Tear biomarkers for keratoconus.

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GROW Research Laboratory, Narayana Nethralaya Foundation, Bangalore, India.
Cornea Department, Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore, India.
Cornea Clinic, Department of Ophthalmology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands.


Keratoconus is a progressive corneal thinning, ectatic condition, which affects vision. Recent advances in corneal topography measurements has helped advance proper diagnosis of this condition and increased research and clinical interests in the disease etiopathogenesis. Considerable progress has been achieved in understanding the progression of the disease and tear fluid has played a major role in the progress. This review discusses the importance of tear fluid as a source of biomarker for keratoconus and how advances in technology have helped map the complexity of tears and thereby molecular readouts of the disease. Expanding knowledge of the tear proteome, lipidome and metabolome opened up new avenues to study keratoconus and to identify probable prognostic or diagnostic biomarkers for the disease. A multidimensional approach of analyzing tear fluid of patients layering on proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics is necessary in effectively decoding keratoconus and thereby identifying targets for its treatment.


Biomarkers; Keratoconus; Metabolites; Proteins; Tears

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