Purpose. To assess the corneal swelling response to two myopic correction corneal refractive therapy (CRT) lenses of varying Dk/t values, worn for a single night. Change in thickness of the total cornea, stroma, and epithelium was measured across the horizontal meridian using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Methods. In this double-masked, randomized study, twenty subjects wore a CRT design lens in each eye, manufactured from Menicon Z (MenZ; Dk/t = 91) and Equalens II (EqII; Dk/t = 47) materials. Baseline corneal thickness was measured centrally and at four points either side of the central cornea using OCT, the night before sleeping at the Centre for Contact Lens Research. The next morning, lenses were removed, and thickness measurements were repeated 1, 3, 6, and 12 h after removal.
Results. On lens removal, the MenZ eye had central and paracentral corneal swelling (mean ± SD) of 4.1 ± 2.0% and 5.6 ± 2.4%, and the EqII eye had 5.8 ± 2.6% and 7.0 ± 2.6%. These values were significantly different from baseline (ReANOVA; p < 0.001) and were different between lens materials (p < 0.001). The central epithelium thinned by 10.0 ± 4.5% in the MenZ eye and by 10.2 ± 8.5% in the EqII eye, with the mid-peripheral epithelium thickening by 13.4 ± 7.9% in the MenZ eye and 18.3 ± 9.8% in the EqII eye (all changes different from baseline p < 0.001). These epithelial values were not statistically different between materials (p > 0.05). Stromal swelling values on lens removal were 5.7 ± 2.2% centrally and 5.5 ± 3.0% mid-peripherally (MenZ) and 7.7 ± 3.1% centrally and 6.6 ± 2.9% mid-peripherally (EqII) (all p < 0.001 from baseline). Central stromal swelling was different between eyes at lens removal (p < 0.001). Stromal thickness in both eyes returned to baseline values within 3 h.
Conclusion. The higher-Dk/t MenZ material caused significantly less overnight corneal and stromal swelling than the Eqll material, which reinforces the need to prescribe lenses with high Dk/t for overnight wear. Neither central epithelial thinning nor paracentral thickening are significantly affected by Dk/t.