Lid-parallel conjunctival fold (LIPCOF) morphology imaged by optical coherence tomography and its relationship to LIPCOF grade

Stefan Bandlitz*, Christine Purslow, Paul J. Murphy, Heiko Pult

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Lid-parallel conjunctival folds (LIPCOF) are a well-accepted clinical sign in dry eye diagnosis. Commonly, LIPCOF is classified by grading the number of folds observed by slit-lamp microscope. This study investigated the relationship between subjective grading scale and LIPCOF morphology imaged by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Methods: Temporal and nasal LIPCOF of 42 subjects (mean age 27.3 ± 8.4 (SD) years; 13 M, 29 F) were observed and classified by an experienced optometrist using the Pult LIPCOF grading scale (0: no permanent, lid-parallel conjunctival fold; 1: one fold; 2: two folds, 3: three or more folds). Additionally, LIPCOF cross-sectional area (LIPCOF-A) and fold count (LIPCOF-C), as imaged by OCT (Cirrus HD; Carl Zeiss Meditec, Jena, Germany), were analysed with ImageJ 1.50 ( Correlations between subjective grading and LIPCOF-A and LIPCOF-C were analysed by Spearman correlation, differences between subjective grading and LIPCOF-C were analysed by Wilcoxon test. Results: For temporal and nasal sectors, mean subjective LIPCOF grade was 1.43 ± 0.86 grade units and 0.57 ± 0.80 grade units, mean LIPCOF-C was 1.67 ± 0.82 folds and 0.69 ± 0.78 folds, and mean LIPCOF-A was 0.0676 ± 0.0236mm2 and 0.0389 ± 0.0352 mm2, respectively. Subjective temporal and nasal LIPCOF grade was significantly correlated to LIPCOF-C (r = 0.610, p < 0.001 and r = 0.645, p < 0.001, respectively), and to LIPCOF-A (r = 0.612, p < 0.001 and r = 0.583, p < 0.001, respectively). LIPCOF-C was not statistical different to subjective LIPCOF grade (p = 0.07 and p = 0.239; temporal and nasal sectors, respectively). Conclusions: OCT allows for better imaging of finer details of LIPCOF morphology, and especially of LIPCOF area. OCT evaluation of LIPCOF area correlated well with subjective grading and appears to be a promising objective method for LIPCOF classification.

Original languageEnglish
JournalContact Lens and Anterior Eye
Early online date12 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Nov 2018


  • Conjunctivochalasis
  • Lid-parallel conjunctival folds
  • OCT
  • Optical coherence tomography

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