Comparison of ultrasonic corneal thickness measurements before and during surgery in the prospective evaluation of Radial Keratotomy (PERK) Study

Ophthalmology. 1986 Mar;93(3):327-30. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(86)33746-1.


Central corneal thickness, determined by an ultrasonic pachymeter, was studied in one eye each of 395 patients enrolled in the Prospective Evaluation of Radial Keratotomy (PERK) Study, to determine the changes in central corneal thickness between preoperative and intraoperative measurements. There was no statistical difference between the preoperative and the intraoperative measurement. However, 9.4% of the corneas were 0.03 to 0.08 mm thinner intraoperatively and 3.3% were 0.03 to 0.06 mm thicker intraoperatively, indicating that clinically meaningful changes in corneal thickness occurred between the preoperative and intraoperative measurements in some eyes. We conclude that the most reliable way to use ultrasonic pachymetry readings to set the length of the knife blade for radial keratotomy surgery is to measure the corneal thickness intraoperatively.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cornea / pathology
  • Cornea / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography*