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Tanner J. Ferguson, Srinidhi Singuri, Sanjai Jalaj, Matthew R. Ford, Vinicius S. De Stefano, Ibrahim Seven, William J. Dupps; Depth-resolved Corneal Biomechanical Changes Measured Via Optical Coherence Elastography Following Corneal Crosslinking. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(5):7. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.5.7.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate depth-resolved changes of corneal biomechanical properties in eyes with corneal ectasia after corneal crosslinking (CXL) using optical coherence elastography.
In a prospective pilot series of eyes with corneal ectasia, a custom high-speed swept source optical coherence tomography system was used to image the cornea before and 3 months after CXL during a low-speed applanating deformation while monitoring applanation force. Cross-correlation was applied to track frame-by-frame two-dimensional optical coherence tomography speckle displacements, and the slope of force versus local axial displacement behavior during the deformation was used to produce a two-dimensional array of axial stiffness (k). These values were averaged for anterior (ka) and posterior (kp) stromal regions and expressed as a ratio (ka/kp) to assess depth-dependent differences in stiffness. CXL was performed according to the Dresden protocol with a system approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Four eyes from four patients with keratoconus (n = 3) or post-LASIK ectasia (n = 1) underwent optical coherence elastography before and 3 months after CXL. The mean ka/kp was 1.03 ± 0.07 before CXL compared with 1.34 ± 0.17 after the CXL procedure. All four eyes demonstrated at least a 20% increase in the ka/kp.
Preferential stiffening of the anterior stroma with the standard CXL protocol was demonstrated with optical coherence elastography in live human subjects.
Although ex vivo studies have demonstrated anterior stiffening effects after CXL using various destructive and nondestructive methods, this report presents the first evidence of such changes in serial live human measurements.
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