Differentiating keratoconus and corneal warpage by analyzing focal change patterns in corneal topography, pachymetry, and epithelial thickness maps

Maolong Tang, Yan Li, Winston Chamberlain, Derek J. Louie, Julie M. Schallhorn, David Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To differentiate between keratoconus and contact lens-related corneal warpage by combining focal change patterns in anterior corneal topography, pachymetry, and epithelial thickness maps. METHODS. Pachymetry and epithelial thickness maps of normal, keratoconus, and warpage, and forme fruste keratoconus (FFK) eyes were obtained from a Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). Epithelial pattern standard deviation (PSD) was calculated and combined with two novel indices, the Warpage Index and the Anterior Ectasia Index, to differentiate between normal, keratoconus, and warpage eyes. The values of the three parameters were compared between groups. RESULTS. The study included 22 normal, 31 keratoconic, 11 warpage, and 8 FFK eyes. The epithelial PSD was normal (< 0.041) for 100% normal eyes and abnormal (> 0.041) for 100% of keratoconic eyes, 81.8% of warpage eyes, and 87.5% of FFK eyes. The Anterior Ectasia Index of normal eyes (1.66 ± 0.74) was significantly lower than that for the keratoconus eyes (17.5 ± 7.17), the warpage eyes (2.98 ± 1.69), and the FFK eyes (6.95 ± 5.86). The Warpage Index was positive in all warpage eyes and negative for all keratoconic and FFK eyes except three wearing rigid gas-permeable contact lens. CONCLUSIONS. The epithelial PSD can distinguish normal from keratoconus or warpage, but does not distinguish between these two conditions. The Anterior Ectasia Index is abnormal in keratoconus but not warpage. The Warpage Index is positive for warpage and negative for keratoconus, except in cases where keratoconus and warpage coexist. Together, the three parameters are strong tripartite discriminators of normal, keratoconus, and warpage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)OCT544-OCT549
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9Special Issue
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016



  • Corneal topography
  • Keratoconus
  • Optical coherence tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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