Increased corneal thickness in patients with ocular hypertension

Arch Ophthalmol. 2001 Mar;119(3):334-6. doi: 10.1001/archopht.119.3.334.


Background: Central corneal thickness greater than 0.520 mm causes true intraocular pressure to be overestimated when the technique of applanation tonometry is used to measure intraocular pressure.

Objective: To compare the corneal thickness measurements of patients enrolled in a study of ocular hypertension with those of age-matched control subjects with normal intraocular pressure.

Methods: Central corneal pachymetry using an optical pachymeter was performed on each study subject (n = 55) at baseline and in an independent sample of control subjects. A 2 sample, 2-tailed T test was used to compare the 2 populations.

Results: The patients with ocular hypertension had significantly higher mean corneal thickness measurements (mean +/- SD, 0.594 +/- 0.037 mm) than the control group (0.563 +/- 0.027 mm) (P<.001).

Conclusion: Corneal thickness may be a confounding factor in the measurement of intraocular pressure, and this may modify the risk for progression to glaucoma in patients with ocular hypertension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Cornea / physiopathology
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Ocular Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Ocular Hypertension / pathology*
  • Ocular Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies