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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2011 Mar;249(3):449-54. doi: 10.1007/s00417-010-1500-0. Epub 2010 Sep 10.

Comparison of techniques for measuring anterior chamber depth: Orbscan imaging, Smith's technique, and van Herick's method.

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  • 1Ophthalmic Research Group, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK.



Evaluation of anterior chamber depth (ACD) can potentially identify those patients at risk of angle-closure glaucoma. We aimed to: compare van Herick's limbal chamber depth (LCDvh) grades with LCDorb grades calculated from the Orbscan anterior chamber angle values; determine Smith's technique ACD and compare to Orbscan ACD; and calculate a constant for Smith's technique using Orbscan ACD.


Eighty participants free from eye disease underwent LCDvh grading, Smith's technique ACD, and Orbscan anterior chamber angle and ACD measurement.


LCDvh overestimated grades by a mean of 0.25 (coefficient of repeatability [CR] 1.59) compared to LCDorb. Smith's technique (constant 1.40 and 1.31) overestimated ACD by a mean of 0.33 mm (CR 0.82) and 0.12 mm (CR 0.79) respectively, compared to Orbscan. Using linear regression, we determined a constant of 1.22 for Smith's slit-length method.


Smith's technique (constant 1.31) provided an ACD that is closer to that found with Orbscan compared to a constant of 1.40 or LCDvh. Our findings also suggest that Smith's technique would produce values closer to that obtained with Orbscan by using a constant of 1.22.

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