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The influence of refractive errors on IOP measurement by rebound tonometry (ICare) and Goldmann applanation tonometry

  • Glaucoma
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To evaluate the effect of refractive errors and central corneal thickness (CCT) on the measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP) by ICare rebound tonometer (RT), and its agreement with measurements by Goldmann applanation tonometer (GAT).

Patients and methods

Two observers measured the IOP by using RT and GAT in four groups of healthy volunteers with emmetropic (n = 78), hyperopic (n = 83), myopic (n = 87) and astigmatic (n = 79) eyes. Refraction was assessed by an autorefractometer. CCT was assessed by ultrasound pachymetry.


In all groups, no significant interobserver difference was seen in IOP values detected by both tonometers (Wilcoxon signed-rank test not significant). In all groups, IOP values were higher as measured by RT than by GAT (paired t-test p = 0.000): mean RT–GAT difference was higher in myopic eyes (+1.6 ± 1.8 mmHg), and it was less than 1 mmHg in the other groups. RT–GAT difference was correlated to the refraction (p < 0.001), and it was greater when an higher IOP was detected by RT (significant correlation between RT–GAT difference and IOP by RT, p < 0.001). Compared with GAT values, the IOP readings by RT were greater than 2 mmHg in respectively 17.9% (emmetropic), 13.3% (hyperopic), 34.5% (myopic) and 7.6% (astigmatic) of the eyes. With both tonometers, in all groups the IOP values were correlated with CCT (p < 0.05), but the discrepancy between RT and GAT values was not related to CCT.


In all groups of subjects, higher IOP values were detected by RT; the IOP readings exceed the GAT values usually in a range of less than 1 mmHg, except when RT detects IOP >18 mmHg and generally in myopic eyes; RT–GAT discrepancy is related to the refractive error, but not to CCT.

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Correspondence to Teresio Avitabile.

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Avitabile, T., Longo, A., Rocca, D. et al. The influence of refractive errors on IOP measurement by rebound tonometry (ICare) and Goldmann applanation tonometry. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 248, 585–591 (2010).

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