Using a computerized corneal topographic mapping system that allows detailed examination of the corneal curvature in the vicinity of the visual axis, we identified separate regions of differing corneal curvature in three of 11 eyes after radial keratotomy. In these eyes, the excellent uncorrected visual acuity appeared to be inconsistent with the postoperative spherical equivalent as determined by refraction and corneal curvature by standard keratometer measurements. The distinct regions of corneal curvature appeared to serve as alternative effective optical zones, thus allowing the patients to have excellent visual acuity. In essence, the cornea became a multifocal lens. Although degradation in the contrast of the image as well as monocular diplopia are possible, our patients had no significant complaints.
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