Randomized comparison of in vivo performance of two point-of-care tear film osmometers
Authors Nolfi J, Caffery B
Received 18 February 2017
Accepted for publication 25 April 2017
Published 22 May 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 945—950
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman
Peer reviewer comments 4
Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser
Jerry Nolfi, Barbara Caffery
Toronto Eye Care Optometric Clinic, Toronto, ON, Canada
Purpose: To compare the in vivo precision of two commercially available point-of-care osmometers among normal subjects with no dry eye disease.
Methods: Twenty healthy adults with healthy ocular surfaces were evaluated by licensed eye care practitioners. All subjects had low Ocular Surface Disease Index score (<5), normal tear breakup time (>10 seconds), and no evidence of corneal fluorescein staining. Five consecutive measurements of tear osmolarity were measured on each eye using each of the two osmometers: the TearLab Osmolarity System (TearLab) and the I-Med i-Pen (i-Pen), for a total of 200 measurements per device. Performance of the osmometers was determined by specificity, estimated by the percentage of osmolarity data at or below the clinical cutoff (308 mOsm/L) and precision, and represented by the standard deviation per subject. In addition, to assess analytical performance, on each day of patient testing, standardized osmolarity quality control solutions (338 mOsm/L) were tested on the TearLab per manufacturer instructions. i-Pen manufacturer instructions do not neither provide for, nor recommend quality control procedures.
Results: The mean age of the 20 subjects was 27±8 years (range: 19–48 years, 16 females, four males). Over 2 months of testing, the TearLab reported analytical performance on quality control solutions of 335.8±4.2 mOsm/L with a coefficient of variation of 1.3%. In the subject cohort, 90.9% of TearLab measurements were in the normal range ≤308 mOsm/L. The i-Pen reported 37.5% of all measurements in the normal range. The average intra-subject osmolarity of the TearLab was 295.4±8.6 mOsm/L, which was significantly lower and less variable than the i-Pen, which reported an average of 319.4±20.3 mOsm/L (P<0.001). When the measurements were grouped by subject, the TearLab accurately identified 100% of subjects as normal while the i-Pen accurately identified only 15% of subjects as normal.
Conclusion: In this randomized comparative study of two point-of-care osmometers among normal, healthy non-dry eye subjects, the TearLab Osmolarity System demonstrated accuracy, precision, and agreement with clinical interpretation in line with the manufacturer claims. The i-Pen lacked sufficient performance to delineate subjects with and without dry eye disease.
Keywords: tear osmolarity, TearLab osmolarity system, i-Pen osmolarity, precision
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