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Vinicius S. De Stefano, Matthew R. Ford, Ibrahim Seven, William J. Dupps; Depth-Dependent Corneal Biomechanical Properties in Normal and Keratoconic Subjects by Optical Coherence Elastography. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(7):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.7.4.
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Compare depth-resolved biomechanical properties in normal and keratoconic corneas in live human subjects using optical coherence elastography (OCE).
In a prospective series of normal and keratoconus (KC) eyes, a corneal perturbation was applied by a custom swept-source OCE system using a transparent flat lens coupled to force transducers. Cross-correlation was applied to track frame-by-frame OCT speckle displacement. Regional displacements for the anterior and posterior stroma were plotted in force versus displacement (k) graphs. A spatial biomechanical property ratio (ka/kp) was defined by dividing the maximum total displacement by the maximum force for the anterior (ka) and posterior cornea (kp) and was compared between normal and KC groups with the Mann-Whitney U test. Area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUROC) for differentiating normal and KC eyes was calculated for ka/kp, kmax, and thinnest point of corneal thickness (TPCT).
Thirty-six eyes were analyzed (21 eyes of 12 normal subjects and 15 KC eyes of 12 subjects). The ka/kp for the normal group was 1.135 ± 0.07 (mean ± standard deviation) and 1.02 ± 0.08 for the KC group (P < 0.001), indicating a relative deficit in anterior stromal stiffness in KC eyes. AUROC was 0.91 for ka/kp, 0.95 for kmax, and 1 for TPCT.
Significant differences in depth-dependent corneal biomechanical properties were observed between normal and KC subjects.
OCE was applied for the first time to human KC subjects and revealed alterations in the normal anterior-to-posterior stromal stiffness gradient, a novel and clinically accessible disease biomarker.
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