Objective: To assess whether a single daily measurement using ultrasonic pachymetry gives a representative assessment of mean central corneal thickness (CCT) in patients with suspected glaucoma and whether diurnal changes in CCT are related to diurnal variations in intraocular pressure (IOP).
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Method: Central CCT and IOP were measured by a single observer in 56 eyes of 28 patients with suspected glaucoma using an ultrasonic pachymeter and a Goldmann tonometer. Four measurements were made over a 24-hour period: at 8:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 8:00 PM.
Main outcome measures: Intraocular pressure and pachymetry.
Results: Mean IOP was 19.80 mmHg at 8:00 AM (95% confidence interval [CI], 18.95-20.66 mmHg), 20.38 mmHg at 12:00 PM (95% CI, 19.49-21.26 mmHg), 19.91 mmHg at 4:00 PM (95% CI, 19.99-21.83 mmHg), and 19.23 mmHg at 8:00 PM (95% CI, 18.35-20.11 mmHg). Mean CCT was 569.4 microm (95% CI, 560.2-578.7 microm), 567.6 microm (95% CI, 558.4-576.7 microm), 569.1 microm (95% CI, 559.5-578.6 microm), and 567.2 microm (95% CI, 557.9-576.4 microm) at the four respective time points. There was no significant correlation between IOP and CCT in any patient (Pearson rank correlation coefficient); nor was there any significant correlation between the mean diurnal variations of IOP and CCT.
Conclusions: In this group of patients with suspected glaucoma, there was no significant variation in CCT. Therefore, a single measurement of CCT is sufficient when assessing patients with suspected glaucoma. There was no correlation between change of IOP and change of CCT.