To evaluate corneal irregular astigmatism due to the anterior corneal surface using Fourier harmonic analysis with a Placido ring–based corneal topographer (Placido-based topographer) and three-dimensional anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) in dry eyes.
Forty-four eyes of 44 subjects with dry eye and 20 eyes of 20 normal control subjects were enrolled. Corneal topographic data were obtained using a Placido-based topographer and OCT. Dioptric data from the central 3-mm zone of the anterior corneal surface were decomposed using Fourier harmonic analysis. Spherical, regular astigmatism, and irregular astigmatism (asymmetry and higher-order irregularity) refractive error components of the cornea from the two imaging modalities were compared.
Both asymmetry and higher-order irregularity values were significantly greater in dry eyes than in control eyes for both the Placido-based topographer and OCT measurements (all P<0.05). In dry eyes, measured values of asymmetry and higher-order irregularities were significantly smaller when obtained with OCT than with the Placido-based topographer (both P<0.001). By contrast, these parameters were not significantly different between the two devices in control eyes. In dry eyes, severity of superficial punctate keratopathy in the central corneal region was correlated with irregular astigmatism.
The amount of corneal irregular astigmatism, quantified using Fourier harmonic analysis, was significantly higher in dry eyes than in normal eyes. Measurements obtained with OCT and the Placido-based topographer differed in subjects with dry eyes. Therefore, caution should be practiced when trying to use these measurements interchangeably.