The lighter side
British Journal of Ophthalmology
Background/aim: Retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (RNFLT), as measured with scanning laser polarimetry using the fixed angle corneal polarisation compensator (SLP-F), has been found to be reduced after uncomplicated laser assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) compared to the pre-LASIK measurement. Since this virtual RNFLT thinning is attributed to the corneal changes induced by the LASIK, the authors investigated whether customised corneal polarisation compensation (SLP-C), which
... for the actual corneal polarisation during each measurement, can avoid the LASIK induced, virtual changes of the polarimetric RNFLT values. Methods: Scanning laser polarimetry using both the SLP-F and SLP-C methods (GDx-Access, software version 5.0) was performed on 15 consecutive healthy subjects with no eye disease who underwent LASIK for ametropia correction. The SLP measurements were performed before the surgery, then on day 1 and day 6 after LASIK. Thickness data from images of one randomly selected eye per subject were analysed using the ANOVA and Scheffe multiple comparison tests. Results: Superior maximum, inferior maximum, normalised superior area, and normalised inferior area (SLP parameters representing the RNFLT at the superior and inferior poles of the optic nerve head) remained unchanged with SLP-C (ANOVA, p.0.05) but decreased (superior maximum, normalised superior area, Scheffe test, p,0.05) or tended to decrease (inferior maximum) after LASIK, when measured using SLP-F. In contrast, certain other parameters-namely, superior ratio and inferior ratio (representing the ratios between the superior or the inferior sector and the temporal sector), maximal modulation, and ellipse modulation decreased with SLP-C (Scheffe test, p,0.05), but remained stable with SLP-F (ANOVA, p.0.05) after LASIK. Superior to nasal ratio, symmetry of the superior and inferior RNFLT as well as the parameter showing the probability of having glaucoma (called "the number") remained unchanged with both types of corneal compensation (ANOVA, p.0.05). With SLP-C the parameter ellipse average thickness increased after LASIK (Scheffe test, p = 0.021). No parameter value altered between day 1 and day 6 after LASIK, for either method. Conclusion: The results suggest that the LASIK induced decrease of the polarimetric RNFLT, which is consistently detected with polarimeters when using the fixed angle corneal polarisation compensator, is due to alterations of the corneal polarisation. The use of customised corneal polarisation compensation avoids this virtual decrease of the polarimetric RNFLT. However, our results suggest an increase of the measured retardation in the temporal quadrant of the SLP-C image after LASIK. Since ratios of parameters using the temporal RNFLT in the denominator are important in the polarimetric glaucoma diagnosis algorithm, their decrease as a consequence of using SLP-C needs further investigation. 1241 www.bjophthalmol.com on 30 April 2019 by guest. Protected by copyright.