A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in the treatment ofDemodex blepharitis in adult patients.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting the efficacy of treatments forDemodex blepharitis in the main databases (PubMed / Scopus / Cochrane / EMBASE / Science Direct / WOS / Scielo / Google Scholar / metaRegister of Controlled Trials / ClinicalTrials.gov/ WHO ICTRP) until November 24, 2020 was performed according to the PRISMA statement for meta-analysis.
Overall, 18 studies were included for 29 different interventions in 1195 participants with 1574 eyes that were positive for Demodex Spp. Demodex counts, total eradication, clinical improvement, Ocular Surface Disease Index, Tear Break-Up Time, cylindrical dandruff, Schirmer test, osmolarity and adverse reactions were analysed, and stratified sub-analyses conducted. The overall effects for Demodex count (mean difference), total eradication (risk ratio) and adverse reactions (risk difference) were -2.07 (95 % CI -3.99 to -0.15) p = 0.03, 1.84 (95 % CI 1.27–2.66) p = 0.001 and 0.24 (95 % CI 0.08 to 0.41) p = 0.005, respectively. The most frequent interventions evaluated in the included studies were tea tree oil (TTO) and its derivatives, such as terpinen 4-ol.
Multiple therapeutic choices were evaluated in this meta-analysis. Pharmacological interventions were superior to non-pharmacological (mechanical, thermal and pulsed light) interventions. It was not possible to establish significant differences between TTO and non-TTO-derived treatments. Adverse reactions were more frequent in TTO-derived treatments, however all were mild. It is necessary to execute studies with longer follow-up times to determine whether re-infestation occurs after the administration of different treatments.