The purpose of this work was to gather preliminary data in normals and dry eye subjects, using a new, non-invasive imaging platform to measure the thickness of pre-corneal tear film.
Human subjects were screened for dry eye and classified as dry or normal. Tear film thickness over the inferior paracentral cornea was measured using laser illumination and a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) camera. A previously developed mathematical model was used to calculate the thickness of the tear film by applying the principle of spatial auto-correlation function (ACF).
Mean tear film thickness values (±SD) were 3.05 μm (0.20) and 2.48 μm (0.32) on the initial visit for normals (n=18) and dry eye subjects (n=22), respectively, and were significantly different (p<0.001, 2-sample t-test). Repeatability was good between visit 1 and 2 for normals (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]=0.935) and dry eye subjects (ICC=0.950). Tear film thickness increased above baseline for the dry eye subjects following viscous drop instillation and remained significantly elevated for up to approximately 32 min (n=20; p<0.05 until 32 min; general linear mixed model and Dunnett's tests).
This technique for imaging the ocular surface appears to provide tear thickness values in agreement with other non-invasive methods. Moreover, the technique can differentiate between normal and dry eye patient types.
Mol Vis. 2011 Mar 22;17:756-67.
Azartash K, Kwan J, Paugh JR, Nguyen AL, Jester JV, Gratton E.