Usefulness of the Non-Contact Tonometry in Out-Patient Screening

  • Satheesh Solomon T Selvin Christian Medical College, Vellore
  • Chris Elsa Samson Jacob Christian Medical College, Vellore
  • Thomas Kuriakose Christian Medical College, Vellore
Keywords: Air Puff, Applanation, Corneal Thickness, Goldmann, Tonometry, Non Contact


Purpose: Goldmann applanation tonometry (GAT) is considered the gold standard for Intraocular Pressure (IOP) measurement. It has the disadvantages of being a contact device, need for a slit-lamp, non-portability and need of a skilled examiner. Many hospitals are using a Non Contact Tonometry (NCT) as a screening device to save clinician time, however the usefulness is not proved in terms of reliability. This study was aimed to determine the usefulness of the Air-puff tonometer (TONOREF NIDEK II, NIDEK CO., LTD., JAPAN) over a GAT in a tertiary care center.


Design: Cross-sectional Study


Methods: This was a cross-sectional, non interventional observational study conducted on 224 eyes (right eye) from 224 patients. All patients underwent the IOP measurement with both methods and a central corneal thickness (CCT) measured. The data was analyzed using SPSS 20.0 software.


Results: The mean age of the patients was 40.3±11.29 years. There was a statistically significant difference (p<0.001) between the mean NCT and GAT readings which persisted even after correction for central corneal thickness. The correlation between NCT and GAT using Pearson’s correlation coefficient was strong irrespective of the corrections for their corneal thickness (r = 0.751 and 0.718 for uncorrected and corrected values respectively). The correlation of the individual clinicians for the readings varied from moderate to strong. The ROC curve showed the best sensitivity and specificity to occur at around 13 to 14 mmHg.


Conclusion: NCT seems to overestimate the IOP at low ranges as compared to the GAT and underestimate at higher ranges. The crossover of the values is seen between 12 to 13 mmHg.  The clinician should do an individualized analysis of his/her GAT measurements to the readings of the NCT machine at the clinic to obtain clinician specific nomogram. 

Author Biographies

Satheesh Solomon T Selvin, Christian Medical College, Vellore
Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology
Chris Elsa Samson Jacob, Christian Medical College, Vellore
Thomas Kuriakose, Christian Medical College, Vellore
Professor in Ophthalmology
How to Cite
Selvin, S., Jacob, C., & Kuriakose, T. (2016). Usefulness of the Non-Contact Tonometry in Out-Patient Screening. Asian Journal of Ophthalmology, 15(2).
Original Articles