Research: Validity of Measurements when Reusing Icare Probes

Biomed Instrum Technol. 2017;51(6):468-473. doi: 10.2345/0899-8205-51.6.468.


Background: It has been reported that reusing Icare tonometer probes may not pose a considerable risk of transmission of infection, thereby supporting this practice under extraordinary circumstances, such as mass glaucoma screenings in developing countries. The present study sought to determine whether reusing the probes reduced the validity of pressure readings.

Methods: Thousands of measurements were made with the same Icare probe on a purpose-built calibration device. A second set of measurements was made during which the Icare probe head was wiped with an alcohol pad between each reading.

Results: Statistically different readings were observed between the no-wipe and wipe groups for most of the settings evaluated. In addition, statistically significant readings were noted for a few of the settings as the number of readings increased for either group. However, these differences would not be considered clinically significant.

Conclusion: This study suggests that reusing Icare tonometer probes, even for hundreds of measurements, would not reduce the clinical utility of the pressure readings. For mass screenings in developing countries where cost savings is crucial, considering the reuse of Icare tonometer probes seems reasonable.

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Cornea / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Reuse / standards*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Models, Biological
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tonometry, Ocular* / instrumentation
  • Tonometry, Ocular* / methods
  • Tonometry, Ocular* / standards