Meibomianitis: Polar lipid abnormalities

Ward E. Shine, James P. McCulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine abnormal meibomian gland secretion polar lipids from meibomianitis patients and to determine the significance of these lipid differences. Methods: Meibomian gland secretions were collected from controls and patients with chronic blepharitis. These meibomian gland lipids (meibum) were first separated by thin-layer chromatography. Polar lipids were then separated utilizing high-pressure liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection. Individual peaks were identified by comparison to standards and retention time. Results: A polar lipid with an HPLC retention time longer than either phosphatidylcholine or sphingomyelin and shorter than phosphatidylethanolamine was significantly greater in the meibomianitis group (P < 0.05) compared with other chronic blepharitis groups and normals. This polar lipid's retention time was similar to that of dimethylphosphatidylcholine or possibly lysophosphatidylcholine, Additionally, meibomianitis polar lipids' normal fatty acids were highly unsaturated and differed from those of other groups, none of which were unsaturated. Conclusion: Many of the most significant differences in meibomianitis meibum composition occur in the polar lipids rather than the nonpolar lipids. Further investigations will determine the true significance of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-783
Number of pages3
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Blepharitis
  • Lipids
  • Meibomianitis
  • Polar
  • Unsaturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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