Our aim was to quantitate day-to-day changes in the tear and meibum lipid profile of individual subjects in a pilot study of healthy humans.
Matched tear and meibum samples were obtained from four subjects on three consecutive days. Quantitative lipid profiles of human basal tears and meibum were compared using multivariate analysis by principal components.
Substantial differences in the lipid profile between subjects were observed, while lipid profiles were steady across the three consecutive days of sampling. Multivariate principal component analysis demonstrated that lysophosphatidylcholine was the largest variant lipid class between subjects in tears, while wax esters comprised the most variation between subjects in meibum secretions.
Interday variability is shown to be much smaller than interpatient variability, suggesting that tears and meibum subjects both have unique profiles in humans.