Corneal thickness was monitored on seven cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) over a 76 hour period. During this time, corneal thickness measurements were also made on six monkeys after overnight wear of a hydrogel contact lens in one eye. Mean corneal thickness was 417 +/- 12 microns. An overall diurnal variation of 16 +/- 5 microns (3.8 +/- 1.2%) was found. During the first half hour after waking, corneal thickness changes ranged from -9 microns to +14 microns. After overnight contact lens wear, the cornea had swelled an average of 42 +/- 24 microns (9.1 +/- 4.8%). Following lens removal, the cornea returned to normal thickness within approximately 90 minutes. These results are similar to those found in humans and indicate that with respect to contact lens induced corneal thickness changes, the cynomolgus monkey is a suitable model for the physiological response to contact lens wear.