The role of wax and sterol ester fatty acids in chronic blepharitis.

J. M. Dougherty, J. K. Osgood, James P McCulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The authors analyzed the long-chain fatty acids derived from the wax and sterol ester fractions of meibomian secretions from patients with chronic blepharitis and normal individuals. Meibomian secretions were partitioned into separate lipid classes by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Wax and sterol esters were eluted and transesterified. The liberated fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) were analyzed by gas liquid chromatography. Equivalent chain lengths (ECL) were determined for the 58 peaks found. Thirty-three peaks were positively identified by standards. Peaks were quantified by area normalization. Percentage compositions were computed for each individual and tabulated by group; each fatty acid was analyzed by analysis of variance, and each clinical group was compared with normal subjects. The authors found increases in the series of monounsaturated fatty acids from patient wax/sterol esters compared with normal subjects (P less than 0.05). The authors also found differences in some members of the series of normal, straight, and branched saturated moieties. These differences between normal groups and the blepharitic groups represent a biologically significant pattern that may relate to the disease process. Discriminant analysis provided a 73% probability of correct classification into clinical groups based strictly on FAME analysis (P less than 0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1932-1937
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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