International Ophthalmology

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 2335–2339 | Cite as

Thermal imaging of corneal transplant rejection

  • Matthew C. Sniegowski
  • Michael Erlanger
  • Jeffery OlsonEmail author
Original Paper



Corneal transplant rejection is one of the most frequent complications, with a reported incidence of 16–30%. In our current research, we investigated the use of infrared thermography to detect ocular surface temperature. We also looked at a case of corneal transplant rejection and this case had an elevated ocular surface temperature when compared to the contralateral eye and other eyes without corneal transplant rejection.


Twenty-three eyes of twelve patients would serve as control to one eye with clinically evident corneal transplant graft rejection. A Flir T400 320 × 240 pixel, digital thermal camera was used to take a digital photograph and an infrared photograph of each eye. The images were analyzed with the Flir web viewer.


We present here a case of corneal transplant rejection documented with both slit lamp photos as well as infrared and corneal surface photos. The studied patient’s unaffected eye, and the control group’s trends did indeed bring the expected results and proved thermal imagery in this particular field a viable examination method.


We feel that ocular thermography is a useful adjunctive diagnostic tool and that it may be useful to monitor routine corneal transplant patients. Further research into the temperature changes of corneal transplant patients is needed and may allow for earlier intervention for graft rejection.


Penetrating keratoplasty Corneal transplant Graft rejection Infrared thermography 



Funding was provided by Colorado BioScience Grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. 1.
    Eye Bank Association of America (2009) 2009 Eye banking statistical report. Accessed 25 Jan 2017
  2. 2.
    Dobbins KR, Price FW Jr, Whitson WE (2000) Trends in the indications for penetrating keratoplasty in the midwestern United States. Cornea 19(6):813–816. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200011000-00010 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Perera C, Jhanji V, Vajpayee RB (2011) Factors influencing outcomes of the treatment of allograft corneal rejection. Am J Ophthalmol 152(3):358–363. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.02.013 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nguyen P, Barte F, Shinada S, Yiu SC (2010) Management of corneal graft rejection—a case series report and review of the literature. J Clin Exp Ophthalmol 1(103):1000103. doi: 10.4172/2155-9570.1000103 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mapstone R (1968) Corneal thermal patterns in anterior uveitis. Br J Ophthalmol 52(12):917–921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ng EY, Fok SC, Peh YC, Ng FC, Sim LS (2002) Computerized detection of breast cancer with artificial intelligence and thermograms. J Med Eng Technol 26(4):152–157. doi: 10.1080/03091900210146941 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Parsi K, Kossard S (2004) Thermosensitive lichen amyloidosis. Int J Dermatol 43(12):925–928. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2004.02273.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Galassi F, Giambene B, Corvi A, Falaschi G (2007) Evaluation of ocular surface temperature and retrobulbar haemodynamics by infrared thermography and colour Doppler imaging in patients with glaucoma. Br J Ophthalmol 91(7):878–881. doi: 10.1136/bjo.2007.114397 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Purslow C, Wolffsohn JS (2007) The relation between physical properties of the anterior eye and ocular surface temperature. Optom Vis Sci 84(3):197–201. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e3180339f6e CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tan L, Cai ZQ, Lai NS (2009) Accuracy and sensitivity of the dynamic ocular thermography and inter-subjects ocular surface temperature (OST) in Chinese young adults. Contact Lens Anterior Eye 32(2):78–83. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2008.09.003 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Holmberg A (1952) The temperature of the eye during the application of hot packs, and after milk injections. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 30(4):348–364. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.1952.tb00011.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Purslow C, Wolffsohn JS (2005) Ocular surface temperature: a review. Eye Contact Lens 31(3):117–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Shi SR, Li HY, Hsiao YL, Chang TC (2010) The application of temperature measurement of the eyes by digital infrared thermal imaging as a prognostic factor of methylprednisolone pulse therapy for Graves’ ophthalmopathy. Acta Ophthalmol 88(5):e154–e159. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2010.01941.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Galassi F, Giambene B, Corvi A, Falaschi G, Menchini U (2008) Retrobulbar hemodynamics and corneal surface temperature in glaucoma surgery. Int Ophthalmol 28(6):399–405. doi: 10.1007/s10792-007-9160-8 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Acharya UR, Ng EY, Yee GC, Hua TJ, Kagathi M (2009) Analysis of normal human eye with different age groups using infrared images. J Med Syst 33(3):207–213. doi: 10.1007/s10916-008-9181-5 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ng EY, Kaw GJ, Chang WM (2004) Analysis of IR thermal imager for mass blind fever screening. Microvasc Res 68(2):104–109. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2004.05.003 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Scott JA (1988) A finite element model of heat transport in the human eye. Phys Med Biol 33(2):227–241. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/33/2/003 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Maldonado-Codina C, Morgan PB, Efron N (2001) Thermal consequences of photorefractive keratectomy. Cornea 20(5):509–515. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200107000-00014 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Efron N, Brennan NA, Hore J, Rieper K (1988) Temperature of the hyperemic bulbar conjunctiva. Curr Eye Res 7(6):615–618. doi: 10.3109/02713688809031818 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Trees GR, Tomlinson A (1990) Effect of artificial tear solutions and saline on tear film evaporation. Optom Vis Sci 67(12):886–890. doi: 10.1097/00006324-199012000-00002 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fujishima H, Toda I, Yamada M, Sato N (1996) Tsubota K (1996) Corneal temperature in patients with dry eye evaluated by infrared radiation thermometry. Br J Ophthalmol 80(1):29–32. doi: 10.1136/bjo.80.1.29 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mapstone R (1968) Determinants of corneal temperature. Br J Ophthalmol 52(10):729–741. doi: 10.1136/bjo.52.10.729 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Petrou Binder S (2003) Thermography shows enormous promise for diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. Eurotimes. Accessed 12 Dec 2015

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

Personalised recommendations