All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Jason J Nichols

Advisory Committee Members

Jianzhong Chen

Roderick J Fullard

Lyndon Jones

Kelly K Nichols

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Optometry


The purpose of this investigation was to identify possible lipid biomarkers that are associated with contact lens related discomfort and determine whether inflammation as a result of lipid peroxidation or enzymatic arachidonic acid metabolism is associated with such discomfort. Ten microliters of tears were collected from each eye of fifteen subjects (11 non-contact lens wearers, 2 contact lens wearers with discomfort and 2 contact lens wearers without discomfort) and assayed using various chemical extraction methods and mass spectrometry based analytical approaches. This was done to determine whether lipid mediators of inflammation could be identified in low volume (10 l) of tears with liquid-liquid extraction and mass spectrometry. None of the lipid mediators of inflammation (eicosanoids) were identified. Following this, twenty contact lens wearers with contact lens related discomfort and twenty without contact lens related discomfort as characterized by the contact lens dry eye questionnaire were enrolled and donated a total of thirty microliters of basal tears from each eye over three visits within a week. The difference in concentration of prostaglandin E2, leukotriene B4 and malondialdehyde in tears of contact lens wearers with and without discomfort was determined using plate-based assays. Ten microliters of the pooled tears from each subject was used for individual lipid mediator assay. Leukotriene B4 was found to be present in significantly higher concentration (p = 0.02) in tears of contact lens wearers with discomfort. There was no significant difference in the concentration of prostaglandin E2 (p = 0.46) or malondialdehyde (p = 0.16) in tears of contact lens wearers with and without discomfort. Lastly, the concentration of lipid hydroperoxide and thromboxane B2 was compared in tears of contact lens wearers with discomfort using plate-based assays. The concentration did not differ significantly from each other (p = 0.61). Thus, in this study contact lens related discomfort was associated only with the concentration of leukotriene B4 in tears. Non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation and enzymatic oxidation of arachidonic acid were both equally responsible for the production of malondialdehyde in tears of contact lens wearers with discomfort.

Included in

Optometry Commons



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