Evaluation of tear film in patients with AIDS without opportunistic ocular infections in the era of COVID-19: A case-control study.

Publication date: Feb 05, 2024

The assessment of tear film and ocular surface conditions in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been poorly studied thus far. We aim to assess tear film parameters, ocular surface characteristics, and dry eye disease (DED) symptoms of patients with AIDS who did not undergo highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART). This case-control study included 154 age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched healthy controls and patients with AIDS. All participants underwent comprehensive ocular surface assessment and subjective DED symptomology evaluation. Data were collected between March 2022 and July 2022. HAART-nacEFve patients with AIDS had a shorter noninvasive tear film breakup time (median 3. 76 vs. 8. 54 s), thinner tear film lipid layer thickness (median 73. 00 vs. 91. 00 nm), and lower Schirmer I test values (median 5. 00 mm/5 min vs. 12. 00 mm/5 min) (all P < 0. 001). Moreover, higher corneal fluorescein staining scores (median 1. 00 vs. 0. 00) and higher upper, lower, and total meibomian gland grades were observed in AIDS patients (all P < 0. 05). Negative correlations between the blood viral load and the Ocular Surface Disease Index score (r = -3. 50, P = 0. 027) and the Schirmer I test score (r = -0. 374, P = 0. 017) were detected in patients with AIDS. Altered tear film status was observed in individuals with HAART-nacEFve AIDS, even when there were no other ocular symptoms present. Therefore, patients with AIDS should be encouraged to undergo comprehensive ocular surface examinations to detect any subclinical tear film alterations occurring.

Concepts Keywords
Breakup Aids
July Assessment
Ophthalmol Case
Viral Comprehensive


Type Source Name
disease MESH AIDS
disease MESH ocular infections
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH dry eye disease
disease VO time
drug DRUGBANK Fluorescein
disease IDO blood

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