Corneal curvature and central corneal thickness in eyes with pseudoexfoliation syndrome

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  • Corneal curvature and central corneal thickness in eyeswith pseudoexfoliation syndromeIbrahim F. Hepsen, MD; Ramazan Yagc, MD; Urgcan Keskin, MD


    Background: Previous studies have reported different central corneal thickness (CCT) values in eyes withpseudoexfoliation syndrome (PXS).There has been no report about corneal curvature (CC) in PXS eyes. Theaim of this study was to investigate the CCT together with the CC in PXS eyes with and without glaucoma.

    Methods: The CC (simulated keratometry 1 [SimK1], SimK2, and mean K) and CCT were prospectivelystudied by rotating a Scheimpflug camera in 72 PXS eyes and comparing them with 65 normal eyes.

    Results: In all PXS eyes, the mean K was significantly steeper than in control eyes (44.1 [SD 1.5] diopters (D)vs. 43.2 [SD 2.0] D, p = 0.04).When PXS eyes were subcategorized, the mean K was significantly steeper inboth normotensive PXS eyes (44.6 [SD 1.6] D) and pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEXG) eyes (44.0 [SD 1.2]D) than normal eyes (43.2 [SD 2.0] D) (p = 0.001 and 0.02, respectively). In all PXS eyes, the mean CCT(546.4 [SD 39.6] m) was not significantly different than the control eyes (542.9 [SD 32.2] m) (p = 0.56).When PXS eyes were subcategorized, however, the CCT was significantly thinner in normotensive PXS eyesand significantly thicker in PEXG eyes.

    Interpretation: It appears that PEXG eyes have a significantly steeper CC and higher CCT thannormal eyes.This could be of clinical significance because overestimation of true intraocularpressure may then occur in these eyes.

    Contexte : Des tudes prcdentes font tat des diverses paisseurs du centre de la corne (CC) dans desyeux atteints du syndrome de pseudoexfoliation (SPX), mais aucune ne traite de la courbure de la corne(CC) des yeux atteints du SPX. Cette tude a pour objet dexaminer conjointement lCC et la CC desyeux atteints du SPX.

    Mthodes : Il sagit dune tude prospective de la CC (par kratomtrie simule 1 [SimK1], SimK2 et Kmoyenne) et de lCC par rotation de la camra Scheimpflug dans 72 cas de SPX comparativement 65 yeux normaux.

    Rsultats : Dans tous les yeux atteints du SPX, la K moyenne tait significativement plus prononce que dansles yeux tmoins (44.1 dioptres (D) [T 1.5] vs. 43.2 D [T 2.0], p = 0.04). En classant par sous-catgoriesles yeux atteints du SPX, la K moyenne tait significativement plus prononce dans les yeux atteints du SPXnormotensifs (44.6 D [T 1.6]) et ceux atteints de glaucome par pseudoexfoliation (GSPX) (44.0 D [T 1.2]) que dans les yeux normaux (43.2 D [T 2.0]) (p = 0.001 et 0.02, respectivement). Chez tous lesyeux atteints du SPX, la moyenne de lCC (546.4 [T 39.6] m) ntait pas significativement diffrente decelles des yeux tmoins (542.9 [T 32.2] m) (p = 0.56).Toutefois, quand on rpartissait les yeux atteintsdu SPX en sous-categories, lCC tait significativement moindre dans les yeux normotensifs etsignificativement plus grande dans les yeux atteints du SPX.

    Interprtation : Il semble que chez les yeux atteints du GSPX la courbure de la corne est sig-nificativement plus prononce et le centre de la corne plus pais que chez les yeux normaux.Cela peut tre important en clinique parce quil peut arriver quon surestime la vritablepression intraoculaire de ces yeux.

    Goldmann applanation tonometry (GAT) is still theinternational gold standard for measurement ofintraocular pressure (IOP). The effect of central cornealthickness (CCT) on IOP readings using GAT has recentlybecome a topic of much interest. Patients with a diagno-sis of ocular hypertension are more likely to have anincreased CCT,13 whereas patients with a diagnosis ofnormal-tension glaucoma (NTG) may have a reduced

    CCT.1,4 There are conflicting reports about the CCT inpatients with pseudoexfoliation syndrome (PXS) orpseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEXG). Most studies58

    have found similar CCT in PXS eyes and normal eyes,although some authors have reported lower911 orhigher12 values than the CCT of normal eyes.

    The aim of this study was to investigate the CCT in PXSeyes with normal IOP, elevated IOP without glaucoma,

    From the Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, FatihUniversity, Ankara, Turkey

    Originally received May 20, 2006. Revised Mar. 5, 2007Accepted for publication June 8, 2007Published online Sep. 13, 2007

    Correspondence to: Ibrahim F. Hepsen, MD, Fatih University Hospital, EyeCenter, Alparslan Turkes C. No. 57, 06510 Emek, Ankara, Turkey;

    This article has been peer-reviewed. Cet article a t valu par les pairs.

    Can J Ophthalmol 2007;42:67780doi: 10.3129/can j ophthalmol.i07-145

    Corneal curvature and thickness in PXSHepsen et al. 677

  • and those with glaucoma, with the corneal curvature (CC)representing another parameter possibly affecting IOPmeasurements, and to compare the results with those innormal eyes. To the best of our knowledge, there is noreport about corneal curvature in eyes with PXS or PEXG.


    The patients were recruited from the GlaucomaDepartment of T. Ozal Medical Center. The study fol-lowed the Declaration of Helsinki for research involvinghuman subjects and all participants provided informedconsent. The study included 72 volunteer patients withPXS with and without glaucoma and 65 control subjectswho had undergone preoperative evaluation for senilecataract. The patients were excluded if they had hadintraocular surgery or laser procedures, intraocular inflam-mation, angle closure on ocular history, severe or end-stageglaucoma damage, previous or present contact lens wear,early or suspect keratoconus on topography, post-menopausal hormonal substitution, and diabetic retinopa-thy. Prior to the pentacam examination, the study orcontrol group had not had ocular examination, such ascontact or noncontact tonometry or pupil dilatation, thatcould have influenced the results. As gonioscopy may inter-fere with the measurement of corneal curvature, the sub-jects did not undergo gonioscopic examination on the dayof corneal topography.

    Pseudoexfoliation was diagnosed by the presence of pre-granular radial lines or typical white granular deposits onthe anterior lens surface and (or) at the pupillary margin.We studied the CC and CCT in patients with PXS andcompared them with the values in normal persons. Oneeligible eye of each participant was included for analysis.The 72 eyes with PXS were subcategorized into nor-motensive PXS, hypertensive PXS, and PXS with glau-coma. In patients with bilateral PXS together with elevatedIOP or glaucoma, the eye with the lower mean deviationon visual field testing (i.e., the better eye) was selected.Ocular hypertension was defined as an IOP greater than21 mm Hg with no glaucomatous defects on visual field

    testing and normal appearance of the optic disc. Glaucomawas diagnosed by Humphrey 24-2 full threshold visualfield test, IOP measurement, and gonioscopic and opticnerve head examination with a 90 diopter (D) lens. PEXGpatients had open-angle, glaucomatous optic disc andvisual field changes, and IOP greater than 21 mm Hg.

    Corneal topographic and pachymetric measurementswere taken by using a noncontact, noninvasive rotatingScheimpflug camera system (Pentacam, Oculus Inc.). Itenables cross-sectional images of the anterior eye to becaptured. Topographic analysis of the corneal front andback surfaces was based on the true elevation measure-ment from limbus to limbus. The front surfaces of thecentral cornea were selected for curvature analysis in anaxial (sagittal) representation map. Pachymetric measure-ments of the cornea were also calculated from the true ele-vation points of the corneal front and back surfaces. Theapex pachymetry readings were used for the pachymetryvalue of the central cornea.

    Statistical evaluation was performed using the StatisticalPackage for the Social Sciences software (SPSS v. 12,Chicago, Ill.). The independent samples test (t test) was usedfor comparisons of means between 2 groups. A p value of

  • PEXG eyes than in normal eyes (p = 0.001 and 0.02, respec-tively) (Table 1). Regarding CC, there was no significantdifference between hypertensive PXS eyes and normal eyes.

    The mean CCT was 546.4 (SD 39.6) m in all eyeswith PXS and 542.9 (SD 32.2) m in normal subjects(p = 0.56). When PXS eyes were subcategorized, however,the CCT was significantly thinner in normotensive PXSthan in those with hypertensive PXS (p = 0.04), withPEXG (p = 0.003), and in normal eyes (p = 0.05)(Table 1). PEXG eyes also had a significantly higher CCTthan both normotensive PXS eyes (p = 0.003), and normaleyes (p = 0.04). There was no significant differencebetween normotensive PXS eyes and normal eyes. Table 1also indicates the statistically significant differencesbetween each of the PXS subgroups and normal eyes.

    There was no significant correlation between CC(SimK1, SimK2, and mean K) and CCT in patients withall PXS eyes or in controls. In the study group, analysisrevealed values of r = 0.1 and p = 0.36 at the 0.05 levelbetween mean K and CCT; in the control group, r = +0.18and p = 0.1 at the 0.05 level between mean K and CCT.


    Accurate determination of IOP is an important factorin the diagnosis and follow-up of glaucoma. It is wellknown that CCT varies widely among individuals withdifferent types of glaucoma and those with normal eyes.Furthermore, CCT affects the IOP measurements that areobtained with applanation tonometry. Therefore, falsemeasurements of IOP due to increased or decreased CCTcan lead to misdiagnosis or mistreatment of glaucoma.

    The present study examined CCT in PXS eyes withand without glaucoma together with CC, representinganother parameter possibly affecting IOP measurements.We found a significantly steeper corneal curvature in allPXS eyes as compared with normal eyes, whereas theCCT was not significantly different fro