External factors affecting data acquisition during corneal topography examination

José Manuel González-Méijome, Antonio Queirós, Jorge Jorge, Paulo Fernandes, Alejandro Cerviño*, José Borges De Almeida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To analyze the factors affecting data acquisition during corneal topography examination with the Medmont E-300 videokeratoscope and to provide strategies to minimize their effects. METHODS. Sixty eyes from thirty young adults were examined. A second observer registered incidences with the potential to affect data acquisition. Those factors were correlated with the difficulty of measurements as judged subjectively by the practitioner who performed the examination. Measurements of axial curvature were analyzed to evaluate the variability expressed as intrasession and intersession coefficient of variation and the standard error of the mean (SEM). RESULTS. The level of difficulty rated by the practitioner was in general low, with 70% of the eyes being easy or very easy to measure. For the remaining 30% of the eyes, corneal topography measurements were considered to be difficult (27%) or very difficult (3%). Of the external parameters investigated, only fixation instability (P<0.001, χ) and the need for head repositioning (P=0.024, χ) were associated significantly with a higher level of difficulty, as rated subjectively by the practitioner. Further analysis showed that some external factors, including those previously mentioned and others related to tear instability, affect the variability of measurements at certain corneal locations, particularly in the vertical meridian when related to tear instability and in the horizontal meridian when related to the need for head repositioning on the chin rest owing to physiognomy interferences with the keratoscope cone. Intersession SEM improved when three readings from each session were considered. CONCLUSIONS. The level of subjective difficulty found during videokeratoscopy examination is correlated strongly with fixation instability and the need for head reorientation in the chin rest, whereas tear-related events seem to be less relevant in the practitioner perception of test ease or difficulty. Those factors have relevance in measurement variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalEye and Contact Lens
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • Corneal topography acquisition
  • Fixation instability
  • Medmont E-300
  • Repeatability
  • Tear instability


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