Original Article

Tear Film and Ocular Surface Changes in Patients Receiving Systemic Isotretinoin


  • Ebru Nevin Çetin
  • Berna Şanlı
  • Ferda Bir
  • Filiz Yaldızkaya
  • Nida Kaçar
  • Volkan Yaylalı

Received Date: 20.11.2012 Accepted Date: 11.03.2013 Turk J Ophthalmol 2013;43(5):309-312


Our aim in this study was to assess the ocular surface and tear film changes in acne vulgaris patients receiving systemic isotretinoin.

Material and Method:

Twenty-two eyes of 22 patients who received oral isotretinoin (roaccutane®, 0.7 mg/kg/day) for nodular acne vulgaris were enrolled in this prospective study. Tear film break-up time (BUT), Schirmer 1 test scores with anesthesia, ocular surface disease index (OSDI) scores and conjunctival impression cytology scores were recorded before treatment and at 3- and 6-month visits following the beginning of treatment.


BUT values decreased and OSDI scores significantly increased at 3 months after treatment (p=0.007 and p=0.018, paired samples test). Schirmer scores did not significantly change by isotretinoin treatment. Of 9 eyes with impression cytology specimens, 4 revealed normal conjunctival findings before treatment. At the 3rd month, there was an increase in the scores characterized by decrease of Goblet cells, and at 6 months of treatment, normal conjunctival findings did not exist in any of the patients (p=0.004, Friedman test).


Systemic isotretinoin treatment can cause alterations in the tear film and cause dry eye symptoms.

Keywords: Acne vulgaris, tear film break-up time, impression cytology, isotretinoin, dry eye, Schirmer test

Full Text (Turkish)