International Ophthalmology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 493–501 | Cite as

The correlation between plasma osmolarity and tear osmolarity

  • Maika Kobayashi
  • Tsutomu Igarashi
  • Hisatomo Takahashi
  • Chiaki Fujimoto
  • Hisaharu Suzuki
  • Hiroshi Takahashi
Original Paper



To the correlation between plasma osmolarity (Posm) and tear osmolarity (Tosm) in patients (54 patients, 88 eyes) who underwent cataract surgery was evaluated.


Before cataract surgery, routine pre-operative biochemical tests were performed, and Posm was determined from blood samples. Also, Tosm was measured using the TearLab system, and objective signs including tear break-up time (BUT), fluorescein staining, lissamine green staining, and Schirmer’s test were evaluated. Dry eye (DE) was diagnosed according to the Japanese criteria for DE.


Of the 88 eyes, 4 were diagnosed as definite DE, 70 as probable DE, and 14 as normal. Since the number of definite DE was small, the eyes were divided into two groups: normal group (n = 14) and DE group (n = 74), which included definite DE (n = 4) and probable DE (n = 70). There was no correlation between Posm and Tosm, though Posm (293.32 mOsm/L) was significantly higher than Tosm (288.48 mOsm/L; p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in Tosm between the normal group (288.29 mOsm/L) and the DE group (288.51 mOsm/L). No patients had a Tosm higher than 310 mOsm/L even in the DE group. Correlations between Posm/Tosm and each DE sign value were not found. Of 54 patients, 18 were diabetic. Posm was significantly higher in diabetic (295.78 mOsm/L) than in non-diabetic (292.36 mOsm/L; p = 0.014) patients, while there was no significant difference in Tosm between diabetic and non-diabetic patients.


The results suggest that Tosm is independent of Posm, and Tosm elevation in DE occurs by some local mechanisms.


Tear osmolarity Plasma osmolarity Dry eye Diabetes mellitus 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyNippon Medical SchoolBunkyo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology, Musashikosugi HospitalNippon Medical SchoolKawasaki CityJapan

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