Oftalʹmologiâ (Jul 2016)

The corneoscleral shell of the eye: potentials of assessing biomechanical parameters in normal and pathological conditions

  • E. N. Iomdina,
  • S. Yu. Petrov,
  • A. A. Аntonov,
  • I. A. Novikov,
  • I. A. Pahomova,
  • A. Y. Archakov

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 2
pp. 62 – 68


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The paper reviews modern methods of evaluating the biomechanical properties of the corneoscleral shell of the eye that can be used both in the studies of the pathogenesis of various ophthalmic pathologies and in clinical practice. The biomechanical parameters of the cornea and the sclera have been shown to be diagnostically significant in assessing the risk of complications and the effectiveness of keratorefractive interventions, in the diagnosis and the prognosis of keratoconus, progressive myopia, or glaucoma. In clinical practice, a special device, Ocular Response Analyzer (ORA), has been used on a large scale. The analyzer is used to assess two parameters that characterize viscoelastic properties of the cornea — corneal hysteresis (CH) and corneal resistance factor (CRF). Reduced levels of CH and CRF have been noted after eximer laser surgery, especially that administered to patients who demonstrate a regression in the refraction effect or suffer from keratoconus. This fact justifies the use of these biomechanical parameters as additional diagnostic criteria in the evaluation of the state of the cornea. At the same time, ORA data are shown to reflect the biomechanical response to the impact of the air pulse not only from the cornea alone but also from the whole corneoscleral capsule. This is probably the cause of reduced CH in children with progressive myopia and a weakened supportive function of the sclera, as well as such reduction in glaucomatous adult patients. It is hypothesized that a low CH value is a result of remodeling of the connective tissue matrix of the corneoscleral shell of the eye and can be an independent factor testifying to a risk of glaucoma progression. Reduced CH in primary open-angle glaucoma occurs in parallel with the development of pathological structural changes of the optic disc, and deterioration of visual fields, which is an evidence of a specific character and sensitivity of this parameter. The values were compared under compensated intraocular pressure. Further improvement of noncontact and noninvasive techniques of the assessment of the biomechanical status of the cornea and the sclera and their introduction into clinical practice will improve the diagnosis of various eye pathologies in any way related to disorders of the supporting functions of the corneoscleral shell.