Measuring corneal haze by using scheimpflug photography and confocal microscopy

Jay W. McLaren, Katrin Wacker, Katrina M. Kane, Sanjay V. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. We compared corneal backscatter estimated from a Scheimpflug camera with backscatter estimated from a clinical confocal microscope across a wide range of corneal haze. METHODS. A total of 59 corneas from 35 patients with a range of severity of Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy and 15 corneas from 9 normal participants were examined using a Scheimpflug camera (Pentacam) and a confocal microscope (ConfoScan 4). The mean image brightness from the anterior 120 µm, midcornea, and posterior 60 µm of the cornea across the central 2 mm recorded by the Scheimpflug camera and analogous regions from the confocal microscope were measured and standardized. Differences between instruments and correlations between backscatter and disease severity were determined by using generalized estimating equation models. RESULTS. Backscatter measured by the two instruments in the anterior and midcornea were correlated (r = 0.67 and 0.43, respectively, P < 0.001), although in the posterior cornea they were not correlated (r = 0.13, P = 0.66). Measured with the Scheimpflug camera, mean backscatter from the anterior and midcornea were greater, whereas backscatter from the posterior cornea was lower (P < 0.001) than that measured by the confocal microscope. Backscatter from the anterior cornea was correlated with disease severity for both instruments (Scheimpflug, r = 0.55, P < 0.001; confocal, r = 0.49, P = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS. The Scheimpflug camera and confocal microscope should not be used interchangeably to measure corneal haze. The ability to detect changes in backscatter with disease severity is superior with the Scheimpflug camera. However, the confocal microscope provides higher resolution of corneal structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Backscattered light
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Corneal haze
  • Scheimpflug photography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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