Operator-induced errors in Hartmann-Shack wavefront sensing: model eye study

Alejandro Cerviño, Sarah L. Hosking*, Mark C.M. Dunne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of instrument realignment and angular misalignment during the clinical determination of wavefront aberrations by simulation in model eyes. Setting: Aston Academy of Life Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Methods: Six model eyes were examined with wavefront-aberration-supported cornea ablation (WASCA) (Carl Zeiss Meditec) in 4 sessions of 10 measurements each: sessions 1 and 2, consecutive repeated measures without realignment; session 3, realignment of the instrument between readings; session 4, measurements without realignment but with the model eye shifted 6 degrees angularly. Intersession repeatability and the effects of realignment and misalignment were obtained by comparing the measurements in the various sessions for coma, spherical aberration, and higher-order aberrations (HOAs). Results: The mean differences between the 2 sessions without realignment of the instrument were 0.020 μm ± 0.076 (SD) for Z3 - 1(P = .551), 0.009 ± 0.139 μm for Z3 1(P = .877), 0.004 ± 0.037 μm for Z4 0 (P = .820), and 0.005 ± 0.01 μm for HO root mean square (RMS) (P = .301). Differences between the nonrealigned and realigned instruments were -0.017 ± 0.026 μm for Z3 - 1(P = .159), 0.009 ± 0.028 μm for Z3 1 (P = .475), 0.007 ± 0.014 μm for Z4 0(P = .296), and 0.002 ± 0.007 μm for HO RMS (P = 0.529; differences between centered and misaligned instruments were -0.355 ± 0.149 μm for Z3 - 1 (P = .002), 0.007 ± 0.034 μm for Z3 1(P = .620), -0.005 ± 0.081 μm for Z4 0(P = .885), and 0.012 ± 0.020 μm for HO RMS (P = .195). Realignment increased the standard deviation by a factor of 3 compared with the first session without realignment. Conclusions: Repeatability of the WASCA was excellent in all situations tested. Realignment substantially increased the variance of the measurements. Angular misalignment can result in significant errors, particularly in the determination of coma. These findings are important when assessing highly aberrated eyes during follow-up or before surgery. © 2007 ASCRS and ESCRS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • instrument realignment
  • angular misalignment
  • wavefront aberrations
  • simulation
  • eyes


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