Mean shape of the human limbus

Alejandra Consejo, Clara Llorens-Quintana, Hema Radhakrishnan, Robert Iskander

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Purpose: To characterize the mean topographical shape of the human limbus of a normal eye and ascertain whether it depends on age and refractive power. Setting: Academic institution. Design: Prospective case series. Methods: Seventy four subjects aged from 20 to 84 years and with no previous ocular surgeries were included in this study. The left eye was measured four times with a corneo-scleral topographer (Eye Surface Profiler). From the raw anterior eye height data of each measurement, topographical limbus was demarcated and fitted in three dimensions to a circle, an ellipse and a Fourier series. Root mean square error (RMSE) was calculated to evaluate the goodness of fit. In addition, white-to-white (WTW) corneal diameter was taken from the readings of the measuring device and compared with the topographical limbus. For statistical analysis, subjects were grouped as young (< 35 y.o.) and older (> 50 y.o.), and also according their equivalent sphere correction. Results: From the considered models, second-order Fourier series resulted in the most accurate model to describe the shape of the human limbus. The difference between the topographical limbus diameter and the WTW corneal diameter amounted on average to 0.33 ± 0.24 mm. Statistically significant differences among eye quadrants (P<0.001) were found. No statistically significant difference in horizontal and vertical meridian between age groups (P=0.71 and P=0.082, respectively) or between myopes and emmetropes (P=0.78 and P=0.68, respectively) were found. Conclusions: Human limbus is not symmetrical and its shape is subject dependent but not related to age and eye’s refractive power.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of cataract and refractive surgery
Issue number5
Early online date9 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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