Introduction: Apical protrusion in the central 4-mm ring in the Scheimflug imaging (Pentacam), both for the anterior and posterior floats as well as Corneal Hysteresis and Corneal Resistance Factor by Ocular Response Analyzer (ORA), generally are considered important predictors for post-Lasik ectasia. The aim of this work was to find out if there is a statistically significant correlation between these different predictors and their correlation with the central corneal thickness for refractive non-keratoconic Egyptian patients trying to achieve a better decision and avoiding ectasia.

Methods: This case-control study involved 142 eyes (of 77 patients with various refractive errors) arriving at the refractive surgery unit in the Research Institute of Ophthalmology in Giza (Egypt) in 2014-2015 seeking excimer laser ablation. The flattest, steepest keratometry readings, central corneal thickness as well as the apical protrusion in the central 4-mm ring, both for the anterior and posterior floats, in microns were measured by Scheimflug imaging. The Corneal Hysteresis and Corneal Resistance Factor were measured by the ocular response analyzer. Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS, using the Pearson correlation test.

Results: The spherical refractive error ranged from +7.00 to -13.00 diopters (-3.80 ± 2.89). The central pachymetry ranged from 494 to 634 µm (550.35 ± 32.13). For the central 4-mm ring, the apical protrusion ranged from 0 to +15 µ (6.93 ± 2.99) for the anterior float and from -3 to +20 µ (9.33 ± 4.55) for the posterior float. The Corneal Hysterisis (CH) ranged from 7 to 14.8 mmHg (10.18±1.44), while the Corneal Resistance Factor (CRF) ranged from 7.5 to 14.9 mmHg (10.58 ± 1.67). There was a strong positive correlation between the central corneal thickness and both Corneal Hysteresis (CH: r = 0.56, P ≤ 0.01) and Corneal Resistance Factor (r = 0.46, P ≤ 0.01). A significant correlation (P < 0.05, r = 0.15) existed between apical protrusion in the posterior float and the central corneal thickness. Also, significant negative correlation (P < 0.05, r = -0.12) existed between apical protrusion in the anterior float by pentacam and the Corneal Resistance Factor by ocular response analyzer.

Conclusions: Our finding of a strong positive correlation between both Corneal Hysteresis and Corneal Resistance Factor and the Central corneal thickness being important for biomechanical corneal stability. The findings of this study also support using both machines preoperatively to decrease the risk of post-Lasik ectasia.


Keywords: apical protrusion, ocular response analyzer (ORA), Lasik, ectasia
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