The repeatability of measurement of the ocular components

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1992 Jun;33(7):2325-33.


Studies of the ocular components of refraction typically neglect issues of repeatability of measurement methods or analyze method comparison/repeatability data inappropriately using correlation. The authors have examined the repeatability of refractive error measures (retinoscopy, subjective refraction, and Canon R-1 autorefraction, noncycloplegic and cycloplegic), axial dimension measures (Allergan-Humphrey A-scan ultrasound), and corneoscopy (keratometry and KERA photokeratoscopy), and the agreement between different refractive error and corneal measurement methods on 40 pre-presbyopic normal adults. The authors plotted the difference versus the mean of two different measurement occasions (repeatability), or two different methods (agreement), to determine the bias (mean of the differences relative to zero) and 95% limits of agreement of each technique. The most reliable measure of refractive error was autorefraction with cycloplegia, with 95% limits of agreement of +/- 0.32 diopters. Cycloplegic autorefraction had no statistically significant bias compared to cycloplegic subjective refraction. Cycloplegic retinoscopy was the least reliable refractive error measure, with repeat measures on two separate occasions extending over 95% limits of agreement of +/- 0.95 D. Anterior chamber depth was reliable to +/- 0.29 mm, lens thickness to +/- 0.20 mm, and vitreous chamber depth to +/- 0.37 mm. Corneal curvature measures show keratometry to be more reliable (to +/- 0.87 D) than photokeratoscopy (+/- 2.02 D) with a statistically significant bias (paired t-test, P less than 0.0001) of 0.57 D flatter for photokeratoscopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Cornea / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena
  • Refractive Errors / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vision Tests