Agreement Between Autorefraction and Subjective Refraction in Keraring-Implanted Keratoconic Eyes

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To assess the agreement between subjective refraction and autorefraction and to explore the relationship between the magnitude of higher order aberration, and visual acuity and refraction, before and after keraring implantation.


This prospective, randomized, interventional study enrolled 27 subjects (mean age 28.1±6.5 years) with keratoconus. Noncycloplegic refraction was performed subjectively by one clinician and with an autorefractor by another clinician, before and 6 months after surgery. The limit of agreement (LoA) between methods was assessed, and the relationships between the corrected distance visual acuity, logMAR on the one hand and refraction measurements and higher-order aberrations on the other, were examined.


The agreement in mean spherical equivalent refraction (MSER) between methods was good postoperatively but poor preoperatively. The autorefractor gave a more myopic refraction than subjective refraction preoperatively (−3.28±3.06 D; LoA −9.27 to +2.71 D, P<0.0001) and postoperatively (−0.63±1.64 D; LoA −3.85 to +2.58 D, P=0.055), and returned higher negative cylinders preoperatively (−1.10±1.17 D; LoA −3.40 to +1.19 D, P<0.0001) and postoperatively (−1.08±1.27 D; LoA −3.60 to +1.41 D, P<0.0001) in keratoconic eyes. The difference in MSER between methods was significantly related to the refractive error at both visits (P<0.05) and to the magnitude of higher-order aberrations in keratoconic eyes preoperatively (P<0.05). The logMAR visual acuity achieved subjectively worsened as the magnitude of higher-order aberrations increased preoperatively (P<0.001).


The autorefractor returns values that are significantly more myopic in MSER and higher negative cylinders than subjective refraction, preoperatively, but the MSER was similar between devices postoperatively. The autorefactor seems a valid starting point for subjective refraction in keratoconic eyes treated with keraring, but the cylinder should be corrected by about +1 D. The instruments agree more in less myopic than high myopic eyes.

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