Vertical and horizontal thickness profiles of the corneal epithelium and Bowman's layer after orthokeratology

Yan Lian, Meixiao Shen, Jun Jiang, Xinjie Mao, Ping Lu, Dexi Zhu, Qi Chen, Jianhua Wang, Fan Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To investigate thickness profile changes of the corneal epithelium and Bowman's layer at the vertical and horizontal meridians with overnight myopia orthokeratology (OK) lenses. METHODS. Twenty subjects (age range: 19-33 years) wore reverse-geometry rigid gas-permeable OK lenses in both eyes for 30 days. Before lens wear and after 1, 7, and 30 days of overnight lens wear, evaluation of lens fitting, visual acuity examination, corneal topography, and ultra-high resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR-OCT) were performed. The central, midperipheral, and peripheral cornea were imaged in both the horizontal and vertical meridians. Custom software was produced to acquire the thickness profiles of the epithelium and Bowman's layer. RESULTS. Unaided visual acuity and refraction were improved significantly after OK lens wear. The central corneal epithelium thinned in the horizontal and vertical meridians after one night of lens wear (P < 0.05). In the horizontal meridian, the epithelium thickened at the temporal and nasal midperipheries (P < 0.05), while the superior midperipheral epithelium thinned in the vertical meridian. There were no changes in the thickness profile of Bowman's layer during the study period. CONCLUSIONS. Overnight wear of OK lenses caused the central corneal epithelium to thin in both the vertical and horizontal meridians, while the midperipheral nasal and temporal epithelium became thicker and the superior midperipheral epithelium became thinner. The thickness of the central or midperipheral Bowman's layer in either meridian did not change. Improved vision acuity after overnight OK lens wear can be attributed to changes in the corneal epithelium and not Bowman's layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-696
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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