The aim of this study is to assess the intraexaminer repeatability of Non-invasive Keratograph Break-Up Time (NIKBUT) obtained using the Oculus Keratograph 5M (K5M), given its relevance as a homeostasis marker in Dry Eye Disease (DED).
In total, 80 healthy volunteers aged between 30 and 89 years participated. Measurements were classified according to age, sex and the presence or not of DED. Repeatability was evaluated by the calculation of within-subject standard deviation (S), coefficient of repeatability (CoR) and coefficient of variation (CoV). Moreover, the Passing-Bablok regression method was applied.
S, CoR and CoV coefficients showed low repeatability in all groups with values between 3.57 and 7.14; 9.90 and 19.79; and 51.90 and 65.49, for each coefficient, respectively. No statistically significant differences were found in the NIKBUT measurements between healthy and DED patients (p = 0.188). Groups with more DED risk had better repeatability. Passing-Bablok regression also confirmed a lack of agreement between the maximum and minimum NIKBUT measurement.
NIKBUT measurement has low intraexaminer repeatability even when considering sex, age and DED diagnosis. Nevertheless, not only is this low repeatability due to the device, but also it is largely due to the intrinsic variability of the tear film.