BOSTON, MA, March 31, 2011- The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) reported the conclusions and recommendations of the International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).

The MGD Workshop, sponsored by TFOS, was conducted to provide an evidence-based evaluation of meibomian gland structure and function in health and disease. MGD is an extremely important condition, conceivably underestimated, and very likely the most frequent cause of dry eye disease. The Report required over 2 years to complete and involved the efforts of more than 50 leading clinical and basic research experts from around the world.

“This report will have a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of lid disease and evaporative dry eye. It is intended to be a stimulus for future MGD research that will benefit the clinical care of patients around the world for years to come,” said Dr. Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor, Ohio State University and Chair of the MGD Workshop Steering Committee.

“MGD may well be the leading cause of dry eye disease throughout the world. Although this condition influences the health and well being of millions of people, there has not previously been a global consensus on the definition, classification, diagnosis or therapy of MGD,” explained Dr. David A. Sullivan, PhD, TFOS President, Senior Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute/Harvard Medical School and Organizer of the MGD Workshop. “To achieve such a consensus, TFOS, a non-profit organization, launched this international workshop.”

“This TFOS Workshop developed a contemporary understanding of the definition and classification of MGD,” noted Dr. Gary N. Foulks, MD, FACS, Professor, University of Louisville and Vice-Chair of the MGD Workshop Steering Committee. “Furthermore, we developed recommendations for the diagnosis, evaluation and grading of severity of MGD, the management and therapy of this disease, as well as norms of clinical trial design to evaluate pharmaceutical interventions for MGD treatment.”

"Workshop members used an evidence-based approach and a transparent review process in order to achieve a global consensus and the highest level of report credibility. While commercial products are discussed in the report, no individual product is endorsed," said Dr. Nichols. “Moreover, all Workshop members were required to provide financial disclosure in accordance with TFOS and ARVO guidelines.”

The MGD Report was just published by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO; ( in a special issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS) and made available to scientists and clinicians worldwide. A downloadable version of the document may be obtained through a link on the TFOS website ( to the IOVS publication. Complete or partial translations of the report will be offered in numerous languages, including English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese and Russian.

Interviews can be scheduled by emailing Amy Gallant Sullivan:

About the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society

TFOS, incorporated in 2000, is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Boston, MA. TFOS is committed to advancing the research, literacy and educational aspects of the scientific field of the tear film and ocular surface. TFOS reaches out to basic scientists, academic clinicians and industry representatives originating from more than 80 countries. TFOS organizes and coordinates international conferences, workshops and seminars, and promotes research collaborations, to help achieve its educational mission. More information about the Society can be found on the TFOS web site.

Note to Editors: Please note that TFOS received funds to support this Workshop from Laboratoires Théa, Pfizer, Inspire, Bausch & Lomb, TRB Chemedica, Santen Pharmaceutical, Allergan, Alcon, Johnson & Johnson, Advanced Vision Research, Senju, CIBA Vision and SOOFT Italia.