There exists a concern about the general accuracy of intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements using tonometry, and especially Goldmann applanation tonometer (GAT) because it considers the cornea as an infinite thin shell. In this study, the relationship between the true IOP and tonometric IOP, external curvature radius (ECR), and central corneal thickness (CCT) is explored.
In this study, the calibration of the IOP measurements through GAT for different values of CCT, ECR, and E (Young modulus), is done through computational simulations of the mechanical behavior of the cornea subjected to the applanation process using the finite element method (FEM). Previous to this simulations, experimentations on rabbits were performed to confirm that inaccurate readings are obtained with GAT in certain conditions. This methodology is also followed to establish the range of corneal parameters of patients for which the GAT measure of pressure is reliable. The calibration equation for GAT measurements is developed from a statistical multiple linear regression analysis.
Based on a statistical variable analysis of the computational modeling results, a calibration equation is established for the GAT that relates the true IOP with the ECR, CCT, and GAT measurements.
Our results show that GAT measures are linearly dependent on the modulus of elasticity of the cornea; nevertheless, if we consider a healthy cornea with a specific modulus of elasticity, it is possible to correct the measure with a linear equation involving CCT and ECR.