Prevalence of dry eye syndrome after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Yair Ivanir*, Avichai Shimoni, Orit Ezra-Nimni, Irina S. Barequet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence, severity, and effect of dry eye in patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) and to correlate the findings to the duration after transplantation. Methods: A total of 222 eyes of 111 patients after aHSCT at the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Sheba Medical Center, Israel in a consecutive 3-year period. All patients underwent a full ophthalmic examination and filled the ocular surface disease index (OSDI) questionnaire to assess ocular involvement in the form of dry eye syndrome or any other ocular manifestation. The main outcome measures were best-corrected visual acuity, tear break-up time, corneal fluorescein staining, Schirmer test, and OSDI questionnaire. Results: A total of 111 patients were recruited. In 37%, a diagnosis of ocular graft versus host disease was previously made and 46% had no previous ocular examination. Schirmer test was less than 5 mm in 50% of all patients, and in 30% of patients with undiagnosed ocular involvement. The mean OSDI score was 13, and in 28% it was above 20. Correlation was found between visual acuity decrease and high OSDI score to the diagnosis of ocular graft versus host disease and signs of dry eye syndrome. A trend of worsening dry eye was observed up to the second half of the second year posttransplantation. Conclusions: Although many patients are either asymptomatic or do not seek ophthalmic examination, severe dry eye is a common finding after aHSCT. Mandatory follow-up, patient education, and early treatment may improve the quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e97-e101
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • dry eye
  • graft versus host


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