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Br J Ophthalmol. 1997 Jun;81(6):435-8.

Long-term course of tear gland function in patients with keratoconjunctivitis sicca and Sjögren's syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Hospital Utrecht, Netherlands.



To assess the course of tear gland function of patients with keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) associated with primary (KCS-PSS) or secondary Sjögren's syndrome (KCS-SSS), and of patients with KCS not related to Sjögren's syndrome (KCS-NS).


In 106 patients with dry eye an ophthalmic diagnosis of KCS was made. Subsequent evaluations revealed a diagnosis of KCS-PSS in 31, KCS-SS in 19, and KCS-NS in 56 patients. Follow up assessments have been performed 10-12 years after initial diagnosis.


At baseline and at follow up tear gland function tests were worse in patients with KCS-PSS compared with the other forms of KCS. At follow up in the KCS-SSS patient group the tear gland function variables returned to marginal normal limits. In contrast with expectation, a marked improvement of the tear gland function variables in the KCS-NS patient group was noted.


In KCS-PSS patients tear gland function is characterised by a steady state situation. In KCS-SSS patients the normalisation of tear gland function variables most probably reflects a remission of the underlying disease. In view of the overall improvement in KCS-NS patients the term age related KCS should be avoided.

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