Forward-scattered and backward-scattered light in moderate keratoconus

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Introduction: To evaluate the backscattered light, objective scatter index (OSI) and retinal straylight in patients with moderate keratoconus and healthy control subjects. Methods: A prospective observational study was developed with 33 patients in the moderate-keratoconus group (KC) and 34 in the non-keratoconus group (NKC). Corneal densitometry was obtained using Scheimpflug corneal tomography and measurements were expressed in grayscale units (GSU) over four zones within a 12.00 mm diameter around the corneal apex. A straylight meter was used to determine the amount of intraocular straylight under scotopic conditions, and the straylight parameter (LOG(s)) and test duration were recorded. The Optical Quality Analysis System based on the double-pass technique determined the OSI value. Results: Significant differences were observed between the KC and NKC groups for corneal densitometry (except in the 6–10 mm zone), OSI and retinal straylight. A moderate and significant correlation was found between OSI and retinal straylight LOG(s) (r = 0.52, p = 0.002). Weaker and non-significant correlations were found between corneal densitometry and the other parameters analysed (i.e., OSI, retinal straylight LOG(s) and retinal straylight times). Conclusions: Backscattered light, retinal straylight and the OSI show clear differences between healthy eyes and those with moderate KC. The changes present in the stages of KC evaluated in the current study (stages II and III according to the Amsler–Krumeich classification) might alter the scattering of the light entering the eye.
Version of Record online: 15 March 2023; Manuscript accepted: 01 March 2023; Manuscript revised: 17 February 2023; Manuscript received: 20 October 2022