Axial length is a major determinant of ocular refractive power that has not been well established for keratoconus eyes. The purpose of this study was to establish the mean and range of axial length among both keratoconus eyes with no previous surgery and postkeratoplasty keratoconus eyes, and to determine if there is a significant reduction of axial length following variations in surgical techniques in penetrating keratoplasty. The axial length of 157 keratoconus eyes with no previous surgery was measured using applanation ultrasonography. The mean axial length measurement was 24.39 (±1.13 mm), with a range of 21.82-28.69 mm. The axial length of 66 postkeratoplasty keratoconus eyes was similarly measured. The mean axial length measurement was 24.10 (±1.22 mm), with a range of 21.83-26.87 mm. These values are not significantly different from the axial length mean and range found among emmetropic eyes. A significant shortening of the axial length (F = 5.2, p = 0.04) was obtained in the postoperative penetrating keratoplasty eye if the donor trephine was 0.3 mm smaller in diameter than the recipient trephine. The axial length of individual keratoconus eyes is a major factor in determining postoperative refractive error. It therefore becomes important when considering variations in surgical procedures to reduce postoperative myopia.
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