Association of meibum oleic acid with meibomian seborrhea

Ward E. Shine, James P McCulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Purpose. We sought to determine whether patient meibum fatty acid unsaturation is associated with meibomian gland secretion consistency. Methods. Meibomian gland secretions were dissolved in chloroform and separated into lipid classes by thin-layer chromatography. Fatty acids in individual lipid classes were characterized by gas chromatography after transmethylation. Results. Meibum from patients with meibomian seborrhea was higher, and meibum from patients with meibomian keratoconjunctivitis (meibomianitis) was lower in the monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, than that of other disease groups and normal subjects. Conclusion. Our results strongly suggest that the melting characteristics of meibum, influenced primarily by the amount of oleic acid in wax and sterol esters and free fatty acids, greatly influence the consistency of meibomian gland secretions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-74
Number of pages3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Chronic blepharitis
  • Fatty acids
  • Meibomian gland
  • Tears

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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