Long-Term Impacts of Orthokeratology Treatment on Sub-Basal Nerve Plexus and Corneal Sensitivity Responses and Their Reversibility

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To examine the effects of one year of overnight orthokeratology (OK) treatment on the sub-basal nerve plexus (SBNP) and corneal sensitivity and to assess the reversibility of these effects one month after treatment interruption.


Thirty-two subjects with low-moderate myopia underwent OK treatment for one year. Fifteen non-contact lens wearers served as controls. At the time points baseline, one year of treatment, and one month after removing the OK lenses, two tests were conducted: corneal sensitivity (Cochet–Bonnet esthesiometer) and SBNP imaging by in vivo confocal microscopy.


In participants wearing OK lenses, significant reductions over the year were produced in SBNP nerve density (P=0.001 and P=0.006) and number of nerves (P<0.001 and P=0.001) in the central and mid-peripheral cornea, respectively. Differences over the year were also detected in central objective tortuosity (P=0.002). After lens removal, baseline values of nerve density (P=0.024 and P=0.001) and number of nerves (P=0.021 and P<0.001) for the central and mid-peripheral cornea, respectively, were not recovered. At one month post-treatment, a difference was observed from one-year values in central corneal sensitivity (P=0.045) and mid-peripheral Langerhans cell density (P=0.033), and from baseline in mid-peripheral objective tortuosity (P=0.049). Direct correlation was detected at one year between nerve density and tortuosity both in the central (P<0.01; r=0.69) and mid-peripheral cornea (P<0.01; r=0.76).


Long-term OK treatment led to reduced SBNP nerve density and this was directly correlated with corneal tortuosity. After one month of treatment interruption, nerve density was still reduced.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles