The reproducibility of biometry and keratometry measurements

Eye (Lond). 1991:5 ( Pt 6):708-11. doi: 10.1038/eye.1991.130.


Axial length and corneal curvature are entered into formulae to calculate intraocular lens power for cataract surgery and the absolute measurement of fundus structures such as neuroretinal rim area in glaucoma. The reproducibility (coefficient of variation, CV) of biometry and keratometry was investigated by taking five measurements of thirty phakic eyes. Although both techniques were found to be highly reproducible (CV less than 1%), keratometry was the more so. However, a clinically significant difference was noted between the first and the mean of five readings for both biometry (0.15 +/- 0.05 mm) and keratometry (0.05 +/- 0.03). Taken together, these errors would result in a postoperative refractive error of 0.65D using the SRK formula. Measurement errors were just as likely to occur with short or long eyes. Similar results were found when the analysis was performed on three measurements of both axial length and corneal curvatures. We recommend taking the average of three biometry and keratometry readings to improve the reliability of the techniques, and to increase the accuracy of calculating intraocular lens power and fundus structure dimensions.

MeSH terms

  • Biometry / methods
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular
  • Optometry / methods*
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results