To evaluate thickness changes in the central and mid-peripheral cornea (CCT and mPCT), corneal epithelium (CET and mPET) and stroma (CST and mPST) of myopic children during and after short-term orthokeratology (ortho-k) lens wear, with conventional (CCF, 0.75 D) and increased compression factors (ICF, 1.75 D).
This was a self-controlled case series study. Subjects wore a CCF lens in one eye and an ICF lens in the other. Anterior segment optical coherence tomography images were captured weekly for 1 month during lens wear and for 2 weeks after discontinuing lens wear. CCT and CET (central 3-mm cornea) and mPCT and mPET (within a 4-6 mm diameter annulus) were measured. Stromal thickness (ST) was determined by subtracting epithelium thickness (ET) from corneal thickness (CT). The repeatability of the analytical software was also investigated on age-matched spectacle-wearing subjects (n = 98).
Excluding three outliers (>3 S.D.s), the coefficient of repeatability and intraclass correlation coefficients of 98 spectacle-wearing subjects ranged from 2.63 to 4.64 μm and from 0.90 to 0.99, respectively. For the weekly-change study, CCT and CET in both eyes were significantly thinner after lens wear (p < 0.001) and CET thinning in the ICF eyes were significantly higher (p  0.20) in either eye. CT (all sublayers) rebounded to baseline values 2 weeks after discontinuing lens wear (0.99 > p > 0.12).
Significant reductions in CT and ET, but not ST, were observed within 1 month of ortho-k lens wear. Wearing ICF lenses resulted in a higher reduction in CET. Corneal thickness changes were reversible after discontinuing lens wear.

© 2021 The Authors Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics © 2021 The College of Optometrists.