Background: Computer-assisted videokeratography has emerged as a useful clinical and research tool. All of the currently available commercial units utilize a modified placido disk image and require a smooth reflective surface. The PAR Technology Corneal Topography System (PAR CTS) is a prototype of a new computer-assisted corneal imaging device. The system produces a true topographic map (elevation map) by analyzing a projected grid on the corneal surface, as opposed to a placido disk reflection, and utilizes the technique of raster photogrammetry to define elevation points on the corneal surface. Because the system defines elevation points, not curvature, mathematical modeling is easily accomplished. Current software displays include a true topographic map, a spherical subtraction map in both relative and absolute scales, and a meridian analysis that is adapted to display refractive photoablative surgery.
Methods: We evaluated the accuracy of this device by analyzing three calibrated test spheres (55.76, 42.21, and 33.55 diopters). The test spheres were steel balls coated with a thin white silicone polyester coating that was necessary for grid projection. The test spheres were measured by a Taylor-Hobson contact profilometer possessing submicron accuracy. To determine the reproducibility of the system, three investigators measured three noncalibrated balls (20 mm, 18 mm, and 12 mm). The optical system was purposely decentered and refocused after each reading.
Results: Utilizing the CTS custom optics, system accuracy at the 8-millimeter test area was 0.03 (SD 0.03), 0.00, (SD 0.02), and 0.07 (SD 0.01) D respectively. Smaller diameter test areas resulted in a predicted loss of accuracy. Maximum intraobserver variability was 0.09, 0.06, and 0.11 D respectively, and maximum interobserver variability measured 0.18, 0.12, and 0.16 D.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that the PAR CTS is both highly accurate and reproducible in determining topography of spheres that approximate the curvature of the human cornea.