Purpose: To assess the correlation between the scleral shape and corneal astigmatism.
Methods: Twenty-two participants (11 nonastigmatic and 11 astigmatic) aged from 19 to 36 years and with no previous ocular surgeries were included in this study. Three-dimensional (3D) corneoscleral maps from both eyes (44 eyes) were acquired using a corneoscleral topographer (Eye Surface Profiler). Each 3D map was split into 13 concentric annuli, each 0.5-mm wide, starting at 1.0-mm radius from the corneal apex to the scleral periphery at 7.5 mm from the apex. Each ring was fitted to a quadratic function of the radial distance to the apex, to calculate the elevation difference between the raw data and the fitting surface ring. For each ring, the resulting elevation difference between the original and fit data profile was fit to a sum of sine function. Decentration and astigmatic terms obtained from the sinusoidal fit were analyzed and compared between nonastigmatic and astigmatic groups.
Results: In astigmatic eyes, corneal and scleral asymmetry are highly correlated, but both appear independent of each other in nonastigmatic eyes. No significant difference between astigmatic and nonastigmatic eyes was found for the decentration term [P > 0.05/N (Bonferroni)], whereas for the astigmatic component, the differences were statistically significant [P < 0.05/N (Bonferroni)].
Conclusions: Corneal and scleral shapes are correlated in astigmatic eyes, which suggests that astigmatism is not restricted to the cornea but should rather be considered a property of the entire eye globe.