Corneal tomography is used to assess progression of keratoconus and to direct clinical decisions regarding corneal cross-linking. The purpose of this study was to analyze the variability of repeated Scheimpflug-tomography (Pentacam Classic; Oculus, Wetzlar, Germany) measurements of keratoconic eyes in a clinical setting and to assess the validity of such measurements as a clinical decision-making tool.Methods:
Eighty keratoconic eyes of 45 patients (age range 16–32 years) were examined at baseline and after follow-up periods of 3 to 6 months using 3 consecutive tomography measurements at each visit. Minimum corneal thickness and anterior sagittal curvature map parameters were studied [simulated keratometry (K) astigmatism (SimKast); maximum simulated K-reading (SimKmax); average SimK (SimKave); maximum K-readings on the 3-mm (Kmax3) and 5-mm (Kmax5) rings; and maximum K-reading (Kmax)].Results:
When comparing the first measurements at the first and second visits, respectively, 9% to 20% of eyes were classified as progressive depending on which parameter was chosen. Using the average of 3 consecutive measurements at each visit, 5% to 19% of eyes were classified as progressive. An increase in the SD of 3 consecutive measurements of SimKast (SD_SimKast) at the first visit of 1 diopter makes true progression of keratoconus 3.6 times more likely (odds ratio = 3.6; 95% confidence interval: 0.846–16.027; area under the curve = 0.70).Conclusions:
The approach used to analyze progression in keratoconus, that is, single versus repeated measurements, may confer a great impact on the decision to perform corneal cross-linking treatment or not.