Effect of diabetes mellitus on biomechanical parameters of the cornea

Yakov Goldich, Yaniv Barkana, Yariv Gerber, Adi Rasko, Yair Morad, Morris Harstein, Isaac Avni, David Zadok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compare parameters of biomechanical response of the human cornea measured as corneal hysteresis (CH) and corneal resistance factor (CRF) in patients with diabetes mellitus and healthy control subjects. Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel. Methods: In the right eye of each participant, the CH, CRF, Goldmann-correlated intraocular pressure (IOPg), and corneal-compensated intraocular pressure (IOPcc) were measured with the Ocular Response Analyzer. Central corneal thickness (CCT) was measured by ultrasonic pachymetry and intraocular pressure by Goldmann applanation tonometry (IOP GAT). Findings were compared between the 2 groups (control and diabetic). Results: Forty diabetic patients (17 women, 23 men) and 40 healthy subjects (19 women, 21 men) were prospectively recruited. The mean CH was 9.3 mm Hg ± 1.4 (SD) and 10.7 ± 1.6 mm Hg and the mean CRF was 9.6 ± 1.6 mm Hg and 10.9 ± 1.7 mm Hg in the control group and diabetic group, respectively (both P < .0001). Diabetic corneas were significantly thicker (P = .019); the mean CCT was 530.3 ± 35.9 μm in the control group and 548.7 ± 33.0 μm in the diabetic group. The CH and CRF remained significantly different in multivariate analysis that included CCT. There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups in IOPcc, IOPg, or IOP GAT measurements. Conclusions: Diabetes mellitus affected biomechanical parameters of the human corneas, including increased CH, CRF, and CCT. Whether this observation has implications in the clinical management and understanding of corneal ectasia and glaucoma requires further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-719
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


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