Purpose: To determine the relationships among tear meniscus parameters, noninvasive tear break-up time (NITBUT), and the Schirmer test. Design: Experimental study. Methods: Thirty-six subjects were tested on one randomly selected eye. Real-time corneal optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to image the upper and lower tear menisci during normal and delayed blinking followed by measurement of NITBUT and the Schirmer test. Digital images of the eye were taken for measuring the lid lengths to estimate tear volume in the menisci. Results: Compared with normal blinking, significant increases of tear menisci occurred during delayed blinking (post hoc, P < .01). NITBUT was weakly but significantly correlated with the height (r = 0.36; P = .03) and area (r = 0.37; P = .03) of the lower tear meniscus during normal blinks. NITBUT was also correlated with the lower tear meniscus volume (r = 0.45; P < .05) and total tear meniscus volume (r = 0.43; P < .05) during normal blinking. The Schirmer test was not significantly related to any parameters of the tear menisci, volumes, or NITBUT; however, it was negatively correlated with the age of the subjects (r = -0.47; P = .004). The age was negatively correlated with the upper tear meniscus (r ranged from 0.36 to 0.37 for the radius, height, and area, P < .05) measured during delayed blinking. Conclusions: NITBUT appears correlated with the lower tear meniscus during normal blinking, and the Schirmer test appears not correlated with the noninvasively measured tear meniscus.
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