July 01, 2014
1 min read

SD-OCT a valuable assessment tool for corneal epithelial thickness after cataract surgery

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Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of epithelial remodeling after cataract removal showed corneal and epithelial thickness returned to baseline by 4 weeks postoperatively, according to a study.

The observational, prospective, longitudinal study included 116 eyes of 79 patients with normal, unoperated eyes. Researchers used the RTVue-100 spectral-domain AS-OCT system (Optovue) to investigate changes in central corneal thickness, minimum corneal thickness, and epithelial thickness at the central 2-mm area, the mean over the 6-mm area, and mid-peripherally at 5-mm ring. Imaging was performed 1 day preoperatively, and postoperative measurements were taken at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and 3 months.

The researchers observed statistically significant increases in central corneal thickness at 1 day and 1 week postoperatively (+60.89 and +21.41, respectively); however, no statistically significant changes were noted at 1 month or 3 months postoperatively.

Center, mean and mid-peripheral epithelial thickness also increased significantly (+2.84 µm, +2.35 µm and +2.25 µm, respectively) at day 1 postoperatively compared with preoperative measurements. At one week, the center, mean and mid-peripheral epithelial thicknesses were −1.91 µm, −2.62 µm and −2.76 µm, respectively. However, at 1 month and 3 months, differences were not statistically significant from baseline, according to the researchers.

“In vivo, accurate and repeatable quantitative assessment of corneal epithelial thickness distribution has been a challenge for clinicians and researchers,” the researchers wrote. “It is our clinical opinion that the short-term changes in both the corneal and epithelium thickness distribution following cataract surgery may provide indications for possible postoperative edema, because corneal abnormalities may be masked by epithelial compensatory thickness redistribution.”

Disclosure: Kanellopoulos is a consultant of Alcon/WaveLight, Avedro and i-Optics. Asimellis has no relevant financial disclosures.