Recognizing and treating keratoconus early might spare a patient from possible refractive surgery down the road. In a recent cross-sectional study, researchers identified key features of normal corneas and those with keratoconus and subclinical keratoconus and proposed a diagnostic model.

The study included 205 eyes from 205 patients, including 82 normal, 40 early-stage keratoconus and 83 established keratoconus corneas. A Scheimpflug camera was used to analyze topographic, pachymetric and aberrometry variables.

Normal corneas and those with early-stage keratoconus showed significant differences in vertical asymmetry to 90˚ and central corneal thickness. The diagnostic model correctly diagnosed 92% of cases.

“The differential diagnosis between normal cases and subclinical keratoconus depends on the minimum corneal thickness, the anterior coma to 90˚ and the posterior coma to 90˚,” the researchers concluded.

Castro-Luna G and Pérez-Rueda A. A predictive model for early diagnosis of keratoconus. BMC Ophthalmology. July 2, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].