Radius and asphericity of the posterior corneal surface determined by corrected Scheimpflug photography


G.L. van der Heijde, PhD
Department of Clinical Physics
and Informatics
Polikliniek VU Medisch Centrum
PO Box 7057
1007 MB Amsterdam
Tel: + 31 20 444 0286
Fax: + 31 20 444 4147
Email: gl.heijde@vumc.nl


Purpose:  To obtain the shape of the posterior corneal surface in a healthy population, using Scheimpflug photography corrected for distortion due to the geometry of the Scheimpflug imaging system and the refraction of the anterior corneal surface.

Methods:  The posterior corneas of 83 subjects, ranging in age from 16 to 62 years, were measured in the vertical meridian using corrected Scheimpflug photography. The aspherical shape of the anterior Corneal surface was also determined in conjunction with the correction of Scheimpflug images.

Results:  The average radius of the anterior corneal surface was 7.87 ± 0.27 mm (SD), while the average radius of the posterior corneal surface was 6.40 ± 0.28 mm (SD). The ratio between the posterior and the anterior radius of curvature was 0.81 ± 0.02. The asphericity of the anterior and the posterior corneal surfaces was 0.82 ± 0.18 and 0.62 ± 0.27, respectively. The asphericity of the posterior corneal surface decreased significantly with age. The posterior/anterior asphericity ratio is also dependent on age and was 0.98 ± 0.17 at 16 years of age and 0.53 ± 0.30 at 62 years of age.

Conclusion:  Corrected Scheimpflug photography is an appropriate technique for measuring the radius and asphericity of the posterior corneal surface. The asphericity of the posterior corneal surface changes with age.