Purpose: To investigate orbital biomechanical properties in patients with thyroid orbitopathy and in age- and gender-matched healthy subjects using the Corvis-ST (CST, Oculus Wetzlar, Germany).
Methods: The CST allows a non-contact tonometry with an ultra-high-speed Scheimpflug device to record the deformation of the cornea during an air pulse. Biomechanical response parameters (intraocular pressure (IOP), whole eye movement length (WEMl) and time (WEMt), deflection amplitude 2 mm ratio max, deflection amplitude max, stiffness parameter, and biomechanically corrected IOP were measured in 39 patients with thyroid orbitopathy (= group I) and in 33 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects (= group II) using the CST.
Results: Mean age in group I was 54.3 ± 11.6 years and in group II 54.2 ± 12.3 years with no statistical significant difference between the groups (P = 0.98). The gender distribution between the groups was not statistically significantly different (P = 0.51). Mean central corneal thickness was 571 ± 30 µm in group I and 563 ± 36 µm in group II (P = 0.306). There were statistically significant differences (P < 0.001) between groups I and II in mean IOP (19.3 ± 4.5 vs. 14.8 ± 2.3 mmHg, mean biomechanically corrected IOP (17.1 ± 3.4 vs. 13.4 ± 2.1 mmHg), mean WEMl (207 ± 57 vs. 322 ± 50 µm), mean WEMt (20.5 ± 1.0 vs. 21.9 ± 0.7 ms), mean IOP-adjusted WEMl (213 ± 56 vs. 314 ± 62 µm), and in mean stiffness parameter (132.5 ± 29.6 vs. 107.8 ± 23.3 mmHg/mm), respectively.
Conclusion: Biomechanical parameters as measured by the CST were significantly reduced in patients with thyroid orbitopathy compared to age- and gender-matched healthy subjects, indicating a reduction in orbital compliance in thyroid orbitopathy. The parameters WEMl and WEMt might be a useful diagnostic tool to evaluate the condition of the eyeball within the orbit.
Keywords: Corvis-ST; Dynamic Scheimpflug Analyzer; biomechanics; thyroid orbitopathy; whole eye movement.