Tear osmolarity as a biomarker for dry eye disease severity

Mari Suzuki, Morgan L. Massingale, Fen Ye, James Godbold, Tali Elfassy, Maithreyi Vallabhajosyula, Penny A. Asbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To study the association between tear osmolarity and dry eye severity grade, based on a modified Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) scale, and between osmolarity and the signs and symptoms that determine dry eye disease severity. METHODS. Nineteen patients with dry eye disease were asked to complete an evaluation of dry eye signs and symptoms composed of the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire, corneal staining with fluorescein, conjunctival staining with lissamine green, tear-film breakup time (TFBUT), Schirmer's test with anesthesia, and tear sample collection. Tear samples were collected in 5-μL microcapillaries. Tear osmolarity was measured in the right eye with a tear osmometer. RESULTS. Tear osmolarity correlated significantly with dry eye severity grade (modified DEWS). Schirmer's test and tear osmolarity correlated significantly at r = -0.52, with Schirmer's test result, with adjustment for age, contributing significantly to the independent estimate of tear osmolarity. CONCLUSIONS. Tear osmolarity correlates with dry eye severity and therefore could provide a biomarker for disease severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4557-4561
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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