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Reflective meniscometry: a non-invasive method to measure tear meniscus curvature
  1. Norihiko Yokoia,
  2. Anthony Bronb,
  3. John Tiffanyb,
  4. Nicholas Brownb,
  5. James Hsuanb,
  6. Colin Fowlerc
  1. aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan, bNuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford, Oxford, cDepartment of Physiological Optics, University of Aston, Birmingham
  1. Anthony J Bron, Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford, Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AW.


AIMS To devise a method to measure tear meniscus curvature by a non-invasive specular technique.

METHODS A photographic system was devised. The system consisted of a camera and an illuminated target with a series of black and white stripes oriented parallel to the axis of the lower tear meniscus. The target was mounted on a flash gun close to the objective of a Brown macrocamera and calibrated using a graduated series of glass capillaries of known diameter, ground down to expose the inner wall. It was then applied to normal human eyes (n=45) to measure the tear meniscus curvature. A video system was also assessed which provided qualitative online information about the tear meniscus.

RESULTS Using the photographic system, measured values for capillary radii were in excellent agreement with theoretical calculations (r 2=0.996, p<0.0001). The radii of curvature of lower tear menisci in normal human subjects (mean 0.365 (SD 0.153) mm, range 0.128–0.736; n=45) were similar to those reported in the literature. Both systems demonstrated variations in meniscus shape. The video system provided stable images of human menisci over prolonged periods of time and promises to be useful for the analysis of dynamic changes in meniscus volume.

CONCLUSIONS Reflective meniscometry is a non-invasive technique providing quantitative information about tear meniscus shape and volume and of potential value in the study of ocular surface disease.

  • tear meniscus
  • reflective meniscometry
  • radius of curvature
  • tear kinetics

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