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A pre-test post-test assessment of non-invasive keratograph break up time and corneal epithelial thickness after vaping

Alvin Munsamy
Bhavna Bhanprakash
Amina Sirkhot
Lufun Mlambo
Samukelisiwe Dlamuka
Ndumiso Mhlongo
Ronelle Naidoo


Background: The effects of electronic cigarettes on the ocular surface has yet to be shown. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of e-cigarette use on the anterior corneal surface integrity.
Methods: Forty three males and 21 females with an average of 21years were required to vape 0.05ml of e-liquid of 8mg nicotine concentration. Corneal epithelial thickness (CET) and Non Invasive Keratograph Tear Break up Time (NIKBUT) measurements were obtained prior to and post vaping. The Optovue iVue optical coherence topographer was used to measure central; superior; inferior; nasal and temporal CET and NIKBUT was assessed using the Oculus Keratograph 5M.
Results: There was a mean increase for central corneal epithelial thickness of 0.3448 microns. The superior CET increased by 0.2414 microns. The inferior CET increased by 0.2931microns. The nasal CET increased by 0.2069 microns. The temporal CET increased by 0.2759 microns. The mean change in NIKBUT post-vaping was an increase of 1.40 seconds. All observations occurred at p > 0.05.
Conclusion: The acute effect of e-cigarette use does not impact corneal epithelial thickness and non-invasive keratography tear break up time after 10 puffs mild exposure but more research is needed to assess if this remains the case with more frequent, higher exposure.

Keywords: Pre-test post-test assessment, non-invasive keratograph breakup time, corneal epithelial thickness, vaping.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905