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Corneal biomechanical parameters and intraocular pressure: the effect of topical anesthesia

Authors Ogbuehi K

Received 28 March 2012

Accepted for publication 20 April 2012

Published 15 June 2012 Volume 2012:6 Pages 871—878

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S32322

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Kelechi C Ogbuehi

Cornea Research Chair, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Background: The intraocular pressures and biomechanical parameters measured by the ocular response analyzer make the analyzer a useful tool for the diagnosis and management of anterior segment disease. This observational study was designed to investigate the effect of topical anesthesia on the parameters measured by the ocular response analyzer: corneal hysteresis, corneal resistance factor, Goldmann-correlated intraocular pressure (IOPg), and corneal-compensated intraocular pressure (IOPcc).
Methods: Two sets of measurements were made for 78 eyes of 39 subjects, approximately 1 week apart. In session 1, each eye of each subject was randomized into one of three groups: polyvinyl alcohol (0.5%), tetracaine hydrochloride (0.5%), or oxybuprocaine hydrochloride (0.4%). In session 2, eyes that were in the polyvinyl alcohol group in session 1 were assigned to the tetracaine group, those in the tetracaine group in session 1 were assigned to oxybuprocaine group, and those in the oxybuprocaine group in session 1 were assigned to the polyvinyl alcohol group. For both sessions, each subject first had his or her central corneal thickness assessed with a specular microscope, followed by measurements of intraocular pressure and corneal biomechanical parameters with the Ocular Response Analyzer. All measurements were repeated for 2 minutes and 5 minutes following the instillation of either polyvinyl alcohol, tetracaine, or oxybuprocaine. The level of statistical significance was 0.05.
Results: Polyvinyl alcohol, tetracaine hydrochloride, and oxybuprocaine hydrochloride had no statistically significant (P > 0.05) effect on any of the biomechanical parameters of the cornea. There was no statistically significant effect on either IOPg (P > 0.05) or IOPcc (P > 0.05) 2 minutes after the eye drops were instilled in either session. Five minutes after the eye drops were instilled, polyvinyl alcohol showed no statistically significant effect on either IOPg (P > 0.05) or IOPcc (P > 0.05) in either session. Oxybuprocaine and tetracaine caused statistically significant (P < 0.05) reductions in IOPg in session 1, but only tetracaine had a significant (P < 0.05) effect in session 2. Tetracaine also caused a statistically significant (P < 0.05) reduction in IOPcc in session 1.
Conclusion: The statistically significant effect of topical anesthesia on IOPg varies with the anesthetic used, and while this effect was statistically significant in this study, the small effect is probably not clinically relevant. There was no effect on any of the biomechanical parameters of the cornea.

Keywords: intraocular pressure, ocular response analyzer, corneal biomechanical parameters, corneal hysteresis, corneal resistance factor, topical anesthesia

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