Pediatric graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD)-related dry eye disease (DED) is often overlooked due to a lack of subjective symptoms and reliable testing, leading to irreversible corneal damage. To study the clinical findings contributing to the accurate detection of pediatric GVHD-related DED, a retrospective study of pediatric patients treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at Keio University Hospital between 2004 and 2017 was conducted. Association and diagnostic values of ophthalmological findings for DED were analyzed. Twenty-six patients who had no ocular complications before HSCT were included in the study. Eleven (42.3%) patients developed new-onset DED. The cotton thread test showed excellent diagnostic accuracy in detecting DED (area under the receiver operating curve, 0.96; sensitivity, 0.95; specificity, 0.85) with a cut-off of 17 mm, which was higher than the conventional threshold of 10 mm. Additionally, the presence of filamentary keratitis (FK) and pseudomembranous conjunctivitis (PC) were significantly associated with the diagnosis of DED (p value, 0.003 and 0.001 for FK and PC, respectively) and displayed good diagnostic performance (sensitivity, 0.46 and 0.54; specificity, 0.97 and 0.97 for FK and PC, respectively). In conclusion, the cotton thread test with a new threshold, the presence of PC and FK, could be helpful for promptly detecting pediatric GVHD-related DED.
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