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Involutional ectropion and entropion: clinicopathologic correlation between horizontal eyelid laxity and eyelid extracellular matrix.

PURPOSE: To investigate the clinicopathologic correlation between horizontal eyelid laxity and extracellular matrix components, such as collagen and elastic fibers, in involutional ectropion and entropion. Another goal was to compare the differences between involutional ectropion and entropion in regard to extracellular matrix content using computer-assisted morphometry.

METHODS: This clinicopathologic study included 20 consecutive patients with involutional ectropion (group 1) and 20 consecutive patients with involutional entropion (group 2). The pinch test was performed to measure horizontal eyelid laxity in both groups. Full-thickness eyelid biopsy specimens were examined by light microscopy and computer-assisted morphometry. The Mann-Whitney U test, the Pearson chi-square test, the Pearson correlation coefficient calculation, and a linear regression analysis were performed.

RESULTS: All sections of specimens from patients in groups 1 and 2 revealed abnormal collagen and elastic fibers. The Pearson correlation coefficient revealed a significant negative correlation between horizontal eyelid laxity and extracellular matrix content in the eyelid skin, the pretarsal orbicularis oculi muscle, the perimeibomian tarsal stroma, and the intermeibomian tarsal stroma. Linear regression demonstrated that horizontal eyelid laxity is dependent upon extracellular matrix components in all eyelid regions. Collagen fiber content was significantly increased in specimens from patients in group 1 compared with specimens from patients in group 2.

CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggest that a reduction of collagen and elastic fibers may contribute to the development of excessive horizontal eyelid laxity in patients with involutional ectropion and entropion of the lower eyelid.

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