Purpose: Accumulating evidence suggests that neuroinflammation and immune response are part of the sequence of pathological events leading to optic nerve damage in glaucoma. Changes in tissue temperature due to inflammation can be measured by thermographic imaging. We investigated the ocular surface temperature (OST) profile of glaucomatous eyes to better understand the pathophysiology of these conditions. Methods: Subjects diagnosed with glaucoma (primary open angle glaucoma [POAG] or pseudo exfoliation glaucoma [PXFG]) treated at the Sam Rothberg Glaucoma Center (11/2019–11/2020.) were recruited. Healthy subjects with no ocular disease served as controls. The Therm-App thermal imaging camera was used for OST acquisition. Room and body temperatures were recorded, and the mean temperatures of the medial cantus, lateral cantus, and cornea were calculated with image processing software. Results: Thermographic images were obtained from 52 subjects (52 eyes: 25 POAG and 27 PXFG) and 66 controls (66 eyes). Eyes with glaucoma had a significantly higher OST compared to controls (mean 0.9 ± 0.3°C, p < 0.005). The difference between the two groups remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, intraocular pressure (IOP) and room and body temperatures. Lens status and topical IOP-lowering medication did not significantly affect OST. A subgroup analysis revealed that the OST was higher among eyes with POAG compared to eyes with PXFG, but not significantly. Conclusions: Differences in the OST between glaucomatous and normal eyes strengthens current thinking that inflammation affects the pathophysiology of glaucoma. Longitudinal studies are warranted to establish the prognostic value of thermographic evaluations in these patients.
- cornea/external disease
- diagnostic techniques
- diseases of the ocular surface
- examination techniques
- ocular blood flow