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Vision Res. 2003 Oct;43(22):2363-75.

Changes in the internal structure of the human crystalline lens with age and accommodation.

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Department of Physics and Medical Technology, VU Medical Centre, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Scheimpflug images were made of the unaccommodated and accommodated right eye of 102 subjects ranging in age between 16 and 65 years. In contrast with earlier Scheimpflug studies, the images were corrected for distortion due to the geometry of the Scheimpflug camera and the refraction of the cornea and the lens itself. The different nuclear and cortical layers of the human crystalline lens were determined using densitometry and it was investigated how the thickness of these layers change with age and accommodation. The results show that, with age, the increase in thickness of the cortex is approximately 7 times greater than that of the nucleus. The increase in thickness of the anterior cortex was found to be 1.5 times greater than that of the posterior cortex. It was also found that specific parts of the cortex, known as C1 and C3, showed no significant change in thickness with age, and that the thickening of the cortex is entirely due to the increase in thickness of the C2 zone. With age, the distance between the sulcus (centre of the nucleus) and the cornea does not change. With accommodation, the nucleus becomes thicker, but the thickness of the cortex remains constant.

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