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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004 Oct;45(10):3380-6.

Eye shape in emmetropia and myopia.

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School of Optometry, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. <>



To determine axial, vertical, and horizontal eye dimensions in myopic and emmetropic eyes by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to relate these to different ocular expansion models of myopia development.


The internal length (cornea to retina), height and width (both retina to retina) were measured in emmetropic and myopic eyes (up to -12 D) of 88 participants aged 18 to 36 years. Participants were positioned supine in a clinical MRI scanner. The fixation target was imaged straight ahead of the subject by an overhead 45 degrees inclined mirror. Eye images were acquired with a 7.5-cm receive-only radio frequency surface coil. Axial (horizontal through middle of eye) and sagittal (vertical through visual axis) sections were taken with a T(1)-weighted fast spin-echo sequence.


With an increase in myopic refractive correction, myopic eyes became much larger in all three dimensions, but more so in length (0.35 mm/D, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.28-0.40) than in height (0.19 mm/D, 95% CI 0.09-0.29) and more so in height than in width (0.10 mm/D, 95% CI 0.01-0.20). Based on height and length dimensions, 25% and 29% of myopic eyes exclusively fitted global expansion and axial elongation models, respectively. Based on width and length dimensions, 17% and 39% of myopic eyes exclusively fitted the global expansion and axial elongation models, respectively.


Although there are considerable individual variations, in general myopic eyes are elongated relative to emmetropic eyes, more in length than in height and even less in width. Approximately a quarter of the myopic participants fitted each of the global expansion or axial elongation model exclusively. The small proportions are due primarily to the large variability in the dimensions of emmetropic eyes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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