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Marisa Tesón, Margarita Calonge, Itziar Fernández, Michael E. Stern, María J. González-García; Characterization by Belmonte's Gas Esthesiometer of Mechanical, Chemical, and Thermal Corneal Sensitivity Thresholds in a Normal Population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(6):3154-3160. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-9304.
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We used a prototype gas esthesiometer to measure corneal threshold
sensitivity values for mechanical, chemical, and thermal stimuli.
We also evaluated the reproducibility of the esthesiometer measurements, the influence of previous corneal symptoms, and the safety of this technique.
Forty healthy subjects participated in the study. Mechanical, chemical, and thermal (hot and cold) thresholds were determined at the center of the cornea using a prototype Belmonte's gas esthesiometer. To determine reproducibility of the results, the sensitivity thresholds were measured for each eye on 2 days. Corneal fluorescein staining and bulbar hyperemia after completion of the tests were analyzed.
There were no differences for any sensitivity threshold between eyes or between the first and second esthesiometries. The reproducibilities of mechanical and hot thresholds were higher than for chemical and cold thresholds. Men had significantly higher chemical intensity thresholds than did women (men: 23.50 ± 5.10; women: 10.20 ± 2.16, P = 0.021). There were no alterations of the ocular surface after completion of the measurements.
and thermal corneal sensitivity thresholds
in the central cornea have been established in healthy
men and women of different age groups. The use of the Belmonte gas esthesiometer is safe and reproducible, with the highest reproducibility in determining mechanical and hot thresholds.
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