The relation between physical properties of the anterior eye and ocular surface temperature

Optom Vis Sci. 2007 Mar;84(3):197-201. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3180339f6e.


Purpose: To examine the relation between ocular surface temperature (OST) assessed by dynamic thermal imaging and physical parameters of the anterior eye in normal subjects.

Methods: Dynamic ocular thermography (ThermoTracer 7102MX) was used to record body temperature and continuous ocular surface temperature for 8 s after a blink in the right eyes of 25 subjects. Corneal thickness, corneal curvature, and anterior chamber depth (ACD) were assessed using Orbscan II; noninvasive tear break-up time (NIBUT) was assessed using the tearscope; slit lamp photography was used to record tear meniscus height (TMH) and objective bulbar redness.

Results: Initial OST after a blink was significantly correlated only with body temperature (r=0.80, p<0.0005), NIBUT (r=-0.68, p<0.005) and corneal curvature (r=-0.40, p=0.05). A regression model containing all the variables accounted for 70% (p=0.002) of the variance in OST, of which NIBUT (29%, p=0.004), and body temperature (18%, p=0.005) contributed significantly.

Conclusions: The results support previous theoretical models that OST radiation is principally related to the tear film; and demonstrate that it is less related to other characteristics such as corneal thickness, corneal curvature, and anterior chamber depth.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Chamber / anatomy & histology
  • Anterior Chamber / physiology*
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Cornea / anatomy & histology
  • Cornea / physiology*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Surface Properties
  • Tears / metabolism*