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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2000 Apr;41(5):1022-30.

Peripheral refraction and ocular shape in children.

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The Ohio State University, College of Optometry, Columbus 43210-1240, USA.



To evaluate the relation between ocular shape and refractive error in children.


Ocular shape was assessed by measuring relative peripheral refractive error (the difference between the spherical equivalent cycloplegic autorefraction 30 degrees in the nasal visual field and in primary gaze) for the right eye of 822 children aged 5 to 14 years participating in the Orinda Longitudinal Study of Myopia in 1995. Axial ocular dimensions were measured by A-scan ultrasonography, crystalline lens radii of curvature by videophakometry, and corneal power by videokeratography.


Myopic children had greater relative hyperopia in the periphery (+0.80 +/- 1.29 D), indicating a prolate ocular shape (longer axial length than equatorial diameter), compared with relative peripheral myopia and an oblate shape (broader equatorial diameter than axial length) for emmetropes (-0.41 +/- 0.75 D) and hyperopes (-1.09 +/- 1.02 D). Relative peripheral hyperopia was associated with myopic ocular component characteristics: deeper anterior and vitreous chambers, flatter crystalline lenses that were smaller in volume, and steeper corneas. Lens thickness had a more complex association. Relative peripheral hyperopia was associated with thinner lenses between refractive error groups but changed in sign to become associated with thicker lenses when analyzed within each refractive error group. Receiver operator characteristics analysis of the ocular components indicated that vitreous chamber depth was the most important ocular component for characterizing the myopic eye, but that peripheral refraction made a significant independent contribution.


The eyes of myopic children were both elongated and distorted into a prolate shape. Thinner crystalline lenses were associated with more hyperopic relative peripheral refractions across refractive error groups, but failure of the lens to thin may account for the association between thicker lenses and more hyperopic relative peripheral refractions within a given refractive group. Increased ciliary-choroidal tension is proposed as a potential cause of ocular distortion in myopic eyes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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