Association between keratoconus disease severity and repeatability in measurements of parameters for the assessment of progressive disease

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Background Progressive keratoconus can lead to severely impaired vision, but there is currently no consensus on the definition of progressive disease. Errors in the measurement of the parameters commonly used to establish progressive disease were evaluated in an attempt to determine the limits at which a true change in the values can be detected. The possible association between measurement error and disease severity was also investigated to evaluate the need for limits based on disease severity. Methods Sixty-one eyes were studied in 61 patients with keratoconus. Four replicate measurements were made in each patient using a Scheimpflug-based tomographic system (denoted the PC) and an auto-keratometer (denoted the AK). The repeatability coefficient, i.e., the level below which differences between two measurements are found in 95% of paired observations, was calculated. Patients were further divided into three groups based on disease severity (parameter magnitude). Results Increasing magnitude of all the keratometric parameters investigated was significantly associated with increasing measurement errors, and thus worse repeatability. The maximum keratometry value (Kmax) was the least repeatable parameter (1.23 D, 95% CI 1.11–1.35 D) and showed the strongest association between parameter magnitude and measurement error. The repeatability coefficient ranged between 0.32 and 1.62 D, depending on disease severity. The most repeatable parameter was the flattest central keratometry value (K1), measured with the PC (0.51 D, 95% CI 0.46–0.56 D) and the AK (0.54 D, 95% CI 0.48–0.59 D). K1 showed the weakest association between parameter magnitude and measurement error. The repeatability coefficient for K1 ranged between 0.40 and 0.54 D when using the PC, and between 0.34 and 0.70 D when using the AK in the three groups. Conclusions The association between the magnitude of the keratometric parameters and their measurement errors suggests that limits should be based on disease severity to ensure reliable detection of progressive keratoconus. Further studies are, however, required.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Aarhus University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Oftalmologi
TidskriftPLoS ONE
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2020
Peer review utfördJa