Role of corneal biomechanical properties in applanation tonometry measurements

Tae Hyun Kwon, Jamshid Ghaboussi, David A. Pecknold, Youssef M.A. Hashash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To demonstrate the importance of material properties of the cornea in intraocular pressure (IOP) readings via standard Goldmann applanation tonometry. METHODS: A realistic finite element model of the cornea was developed for the simulation of Goldmann applanation tonometry. A virtual cornea population was generated by randomly sampling material properties, central corneal thickness (CCT), and IOP for comparison with 181 clinical cases. The effect of material properties and CCT on IOP prediction in the virtual population was determined via computational simulation. RESULTS: The results show that corneal biomechanical properties (as characterized in this study by the stiffness parameter Einit) are as important as the CCT in influencing measured (Goldmann) IOP. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the contention that the observed large scatter in standard correlations of clinical measurements of IOP versus CCT can be largely accounted for by plausible individual variations in corneal biomechanical stiffness properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-519
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Refractive Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology

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