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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep;67(9):1405-1409. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_41_19.

Ocular surface status in patients with hemifacial spasm under long-lasting treatment with botulinum A toxin: A comparative fellow eye study.

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Department of Ophthalmology, S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.



The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of long-lasting botulinum A toxin injections on ocular surface parameters and to further investigate the relationship between these parameters and the duration of the treatment.


In this retrospective study, patients with unilateral hemifacial spasm who were receiving botulinum A toxin injections for at least 1 year were analyzed. Healthy contralateral eyes acted as controls. The ocular surface examination included Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire, Schirmer test type I, tear film break-up time (TFBUT), tear osmolarity, corneal sensitivity, and corneal fluorescein staining.


Twenty-six patients (6 males and 20 females; mean age 76.4 ± 8.9 years) were included in the study. The mean duration of the treatment was 7.2 ± 5.4 years, and the mean frequency of injections was of one every 3.3 ± 0.4 months. TFBUT, Schirmer test, and corneal sensitivity were significantly lower in the eye homolateral to hemifacial spasm compared with the contralateral one (5.9 ± 3.2 vs 7.5 ± 4.2 s, P = 0.001; 6.2 ± 3.4 vs 9.2 ± 6.6 mm, P = 0.031; 50.8 ± 3.7 mm vs 52.3 ± 2.9 mm, P = 0.048, respectively). One month after the last injection, TFBUT further decreased from 5.9 ± 3.2 to 2.3 ± 1.2 s (P = 0.028). A significant positive correlation was found between the duration of treatment and tear osmolarity (ρ = 0.542, P = 0.025).


Patients with hemifacial spasm under long-lasting treatment with serial botulinum A toxin injections showed a reduction in tear film production and stability, as well as corneal sensitivity in the treated eye compared with the contralateral one. Tear film stability further decreased 1 month after the last injection.


Botulinum A toxin; dry eye; hemifacial spasm; ocular surface

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