Interferometric measurement of corneal thickness with micrometer precision

Am J Ophthalmol. 1994 Oct 15;118(4):468-76. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)75798-8.


The recently developed partial coherence laser Doppler interferometry technique was improved to measure central and peripheral corneal thickness with high precision. Corneal thickness profiles were measured on 18 eyes of health, volunteer subjects. All of these eyes were measurable at angles (between visual axis and measuring direction) ranging from 20 degrees nasal to 25 degrees temporal. At larger angles (up to 35 degrees) only part of the eyes was measurable. The thickness profiles of the 18 corneas have a nearly perfectly parabolic shape within the measured region. The precision (standard deviation) was 1.6 microns for central measurements and decreased somewhat to about 3.5 microns at measuring angles in the range of 25 to 30 degrees. No significant interobserver variability was found on 14 eyes measured by three different observers. This study indicates that the new technique is likely to be superior to currently used ultrasound and conventional optical pachymetry techniques, especially for refractive procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Cornea / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Interferometry / instrumentation
  • Lasers
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results