Assessing the severity of keratitis sicca with videokeratoscopic indices

Ophthalmology. 2003 Jun;110(6):1102-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(03)00245-8.


Purpose: To determine the correlation between the regularity indices of the Tomey TMS-2N computerized videokeratoscopy (CVK) instrument (Tomey, Waltham, MA) with conventional measures of dry eye symptoms and disease.

Design: A retrospective, clinic-based, case-control study.

Participants: A total of 16 eyes of 16 asymptomatic normal subjects and 74 eyes of 74 patients with reports of ocular irritation.

Methods: Corneal surface regularity and potential visual acuity indices of the Tomey TMS-2N CVK instrument were evaluated in patients with ocular irritation symptoms and in normal subjects.

Main outcome measures: The surface regularity index (SRI), surface asymmetry index (SAI), potential visual acuity index (PVA), and irregular astigmatism index (IAI) of the Tomey TMS-2N were compared between normal and dry-eye patients. Severity of dry-eye symptoms was assessed with a validated questionnaire. Schirmer 1 test (without anesthesia), biomicroscopic meibomian gland evaluation with a composite severity score (MGD score), fluorescein tear break-up time (TBUT), and corneal fluorescein staining were performed. The correlations between CVK indices of the Tomey TMS-2N and the symptom severity score, Schirmer 1 test, MGD score, TBUT, and corneal fluorescein staining score were studied.

Results: Dry-eye patients had greater mean symptom severity scores, lower Schirmer 1 test scores, greater MGD scores, more rapid TBUT, and greater total corneal fluorescein staining scores (P < 0.001 for all parameters). The SRI, SAI, and IAI were all significantly greater in dry-eye patients than normal subjects. These were 0.46 +/- 0.36 (normal) versus 1.09 +/- 0.76 (dry) for the SRI (P = 0.0017), 0.30 +/- 0.15 (normal) versus 0.90 +/- 1.09 (dry) for the SAI (P = 0.0321), and 0.42 +/- 0.28 (normal) versus 0.56 +/- 0.24 (dry) for the IAI (P = 0.0321). The PVA index was significantly lower in the dry-eye patients (0.89 +/- 0.13) than normal eyes (0.68 +/- 0.23; P = 0.0008). The SRI, SAI, and IAI were positively correlated with total and central corneal fluorescein staining scores (P < 0.00001 for all indices). An SRI (> or =0.80), SAI (> or =0.50), and IAI (> or =0.50) had sensitivities in predicting total corneal fluorescein staining (score > or = 3) of 89%, 69%, and 82%, respectively. The specificity of these indices was 80%, 78%, and 82%, respectively. In all 90 eyes, the mean SRI was greater in subjects older than 50 years (P = 0.012) compared with younger patients, whereas no age effect was noted in the dry-eye patients. The SRI and PVA index showed better correlation with symptoms of blurred vision than the best-corrected visual acuity.

Conclusions: Patients with ocular irritation have an irregular corneal surface that may contribute to their irritation and visual symptoms. Because of their high sensitivity and specificity, the regularity indices of the Tomey TMS-2N have the potential to be used as objective diagnostic indices for dry eye, as well as a means to evaluate the severity of this disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Astigmatism / diagnosis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Corneal Topography / methods*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein / metabolism
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca / diagnosis*
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca / metabolism
  • Male
  • Meibomian Glands / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tears / metabolism
  • Visual Acuity


  • Fluorescein