Meibomian gland dysfunction is responsible for dry eye symptoms in many patients. Meibography is designed to help doctors determine an estimated "dropout rate" of a patient's meibomian glands, which in turn may help pin down whether their MGD is atrophic or inflammatory.
The procedure is fairly quick and simple and involves counting missing half or whole meibomian glands in each lower eyelid. 24 per lid is used as an assumed total and the percentage of missing half or whole glands is calculated. There is a grading scale from 1 to 4 (Grade 1 = 0-25% dropout, Grade 2 = 26-50%, etc). It is thought that 30% or more missing may indicate atrophic MGD.