PURPOSE.: A pseudo forward ray-tracing (PFRT) algorithm is developed to evaluate surface reconstruction in corneal topography. The method can be applied to topographers where one-to-one correspondence between mire and image points can be established.

METHODS.: The PFRT algorithm was applied on a corneal topographer designed and constructed at the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Performance of the algorithm was evaluated using artificial test surfaces and two sample eyes. The residual output of the PFRT algorithm is displayed as pixel displacements of actual feature points on the corneal image. Displacement of 1 pixel indicates submicrometer corneal height accuracy.

RESULTS.: PFRT residual increases with complexity of the measured surface. Using Zernike radial order 6, the mean residual for the artificial surfaces is subpixel. The mean residual for the regular cornea and the irregular cornea is 1.16 and 2.94 respectively. To some extent, increasing the Zernike radial order improves the accuracy. The improvement from order 6 to 20 is factor 2.3 for the irregular cornea. Using the residuals to further improve the accuracy brought local changes as high as 0.28 D in some areas of the reconstructed corneal power map.

CONCLUSION.: PFRT can be used to evaluate how close a reconstructed corneal surface is to the actual one. The residue information obtained from this algorithm can be displayed simultaneously with the corneal image. This provides accurate information about the corneal shape that is useful for application in laser refractive surgery.

PMID: 17873765 [] [coyright]