A new method for tear film stability analysis using videokeratography

Am J Ophthalmol. 2003 May;135(5):607-12. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(02)02221-3.


Purpose: To report a new tear film stability analysis system using videokeratography.

Design: Observational case series.

Methods: New videokeratography software for TMS-2N (topographic modeling system; TOMEY Corporation, Nagoya, Japan) was developed that can automatically capture consecutive corneal surface images every second for 10 seconds. Forty-eight adult volunteers (80 eyes) were recruited for this study, and all subjects were examined with the new system. Corneal topographs were analyzed for tear breakup time (TMS-BUT) and the ratio of breakup area to entire color-code area (TMS-BUA) was calculated. Routine methods for tear film breakup time evaluation using slit-lamp microscope and fluorescence staining (SLE-BUT) were performed for comparison purposes. Regressive correlations of TMS-BUT or TMS-BUA with SLE-BUT were analyzed. Based on SLE results, subjects were separated into two groups with normal and short BUT, respectively. TMS-BUT and TMS-BUA were compared with SLE-BUT data with regard to the sensitivity and specificity of evaluation of dry eye symptoms.

Results: Topographic modeling system-tear breakup time (TMS-BUT) had a positive correlation with SLE-BUT (R = 0.7219, P <.0001), whereas TMS-BUA showed a negative correlation (R = 0.6317, P <.0001). Among 34 eyes with normal SLE-BUT, 11 eyes (32.35%) displayed abnormal TMS-BUT, 9 (81.82%) of which were associated with dry eye symptoms. The sensitivities of TMS-BUT and TMS-BUA were 97.5% and 95%, respectively, significantly higher than that of SLE-BUT (75%), with P =.008 and 0.01, respectively. Topographic modeling system-BUT and TMS-BUA displayed a similar rate of specificity in comparison with SLE-BUT.

Conclusions: This new videokeratography system is a noninvasive and objective method with increased sensitivity for tear film stability analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cornea / chemistry
  • Cornea / physiology
  • Corneal Topography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tears / chemistry
  • Tears / physiology*
  • Time Factors