Long-Term Changes in Backscattered Light Measurements in Keratoconus Corneas Treated with Collagen Cross-Linking

Gabor Nemeth, Jasmin Hassan, L. Módis, Ziad Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Our aim was to compare densitometry data between keratoconus and normal corneas and to assess the long-term changes in corneal backscattered light values after corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) treatment. Material and methods: Retrospective analysis was performed on 26 eyes of normal patients (age: 32.71 ± 12.68 years) and 39 eyes of keratoconus patients (28.93 ± 7.59 years) using the Pentacam HR corneal densitometry module before CXL and during the postoperative period, which lasted a mean of 2.53 years (range: 1–4 years). Corneal backscattered light values in grey scale unit (GSU) were recorded for the anterior 120 µm, the center layer, and the posterior 60 µm of the cornea in four concentric, central rings. An additional calculation was performed with converting GSU values to GSU/cubic millimeters (mm3) with surface area calculations and using corneal thickness data. Results: Statistically significant differences were observed between normal and keratoconus group densitometry values (in GSU/mm3) in all annuli of the center layer; all, but anterior layer of the 10–12 annuli; all annuli of the total thickness and in all values of the total diameter. In all these cases, the normal cornea showed higher GSU/mm3 values compared to keratoconus corneas (p < 0.05). One month after the CXL treatment, the GSU/mm3 data increased significantly in the anterior, the center, and the posterior zone (p < 0.05), followed by its slow decrease. At the end of the follow-up period, the GSU/mm3 values were significantly higher in all three zones compared to those before the CXL treatment (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Densitometry measurements can reflect the changes of optical quality of the cornea. These measurements may play a valuable role in assessing keratoconus and optical changes of the corneas after CXL treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Backscattered light
  • collagen cross-linking
  • cornea
  • densitometry
  • Scheimpflug imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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