The distribution of dioptric power: ellipsoids of constant probability density

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 1991 Oct;11(4):381-4.


A sample from a population of dioptric powers may be used to estimate the distribution of dioptric powers in the population itself. This paper describes the method and shows further how one can obtain a graphical representation of the distribution. The graphical representation takes the form of ellipsoids of constant probability density. The centroid of each ellipsoid estimates the mean of the population while the size, shape and orientation show the extent and nature of the spread of the population. For illustrative purposes the theory is applied to measurements of refractive status before and after radial keratotomy. The ellipsoids are presented as stereo-pairs. They are useful for comparative and predictive purposes. Thus the ellipsoid that contains 95% of the population after surgery defines the set of refractive errors within which the refractive error of a particular eye can be expected to fall with a probability of 95%.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Keratotomy, Radial
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological*
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Probability
  • Refraction, Ocular*
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology
  • Refractive Surgical Procedures