To evaluate the change of corneal epithelial thickness (ET) in subjects using isotretinoin with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography and further to explore reflection of changes on corneal topography.
Forty eyes of 40 subjects with acne vulgaris scheduled for oral isotretinoin were included in this prospective study. Subjects were examined with RTVue-XR and Pentacam at baseline, 1th, 3rd, and 6th months of treatment, and 3rd month of isotretinoin cessation.
A statistically significant increase was detected in each sector of ET map except inferonasal 7 to 9 mm between baseline and following visits (P<0.05, for all visits). The increase in superior (2–7 mm), inferior (2–7 mm), and maximum values in epithelium statistics and the decrease in superior (2–7 mm), inferior (2–7 mm), minimum, and maximum values in stroma statistics at follow-up visits were significant (P<0.05, for all visits). Central corneal thickness, maximum Ambrosio-relational thickness, average pachymetric-progression index at 1th, 3rd, and 6th months, and thinnest pachymetry, index of surface variance (ISV) at 3rd, and 6th months differed significantly (P<0.05, for specified visits). The regression in parameters was observed at 3rd month of isotretinoin cessation.
Isotretinoin treatment induces epithelial thickening and stromal thinning. Remodeling of corneal layers causes statistical differences in ISV and pachymetry-related parameters of Pentacam. The pachymetry changes in cornea return to baseline at the 3rd month of discontinuation of treatment.