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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Nov;50(11):5057-69. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-3232. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Hemiretinal form deprivation: evidence for local control of eye growth and refractive development in infant monkeys.

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  • 1College of Optometry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204-2020, USA. esmith@uh.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine whether refractive development in primates is mediated by local retinal mechanisms, the authors examined the effects of hemiretinal form deprivation on ocular growth and the pattern of peripheral refractions in rhesus monkeys.

METHODS:

Beginning at approximately 3 weeks of age, nine infant monkeys were reared wearing monocular diffuser lenses that eliminated form vision in the nasal field (nasal field diffuser [NFD]). Control data were obtained from the nontreated fellow eyes, 24 normal monkeys, and 19 monkeys treated with full-field diffusers. Refractive development was assessed by retinoscopy performed along the pupillary axis and at eccentricities of 15 degrees, 30 degrees, and 45 degrees. Central axial dimensions and eye shape were assessed by A-scan ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging, respectively.

RESULTS:

Hemiretinal form deprivation altered refractive development in a regionally selective manner, typically producing myopia in the treated hemifields. In particular, six of the NFD monkeys exhibited substantial amounts (-1.81 to -9.00 D) of relative myopia in the nasal field that were most obvious at the 15 degrees and 30 degrees nasal field eccentricities. The other three NFD monkeys exhibited small amounts of relative hyperopia in the treated field. The alterations in peripheral refraction were associated with local, region-specific alterations in vitreous chamber depth in the treated hemiretina.

CONCLUSIONS:

The effects of form deprivation on refractive development and eye growth in primates are mediated by mechanisms, presumably retinal, that integrate visual signals in a spatially restricted manner and exert their influence locally.

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