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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Jan;49(1):81-6. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1052.

Heritability of anterior chamber depth as an intermediate phenotype of angle-closure in Chinese: the Guangzhou Twin Eye Study.

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State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.



To assess the heritability of anterior chamber depth (ACD) and relative anterior chamber depth (ACD/axial length, rACD) in Chinese in a classic twin study.


Twins aged 7 to 15 years living in two local districts were recruited from the Guangzhou Twin Registry. Anterior chamber depth and axial length were measured by partial coherence laser interferometry. Zygosity in all same-sex twin pairs was confirmed by genotyping with 16 polymorphic markers. The phenotypes of the right eyes were used in analysis. Heritability was assessed by structural variance component genetic modeling.


In total, 1126 twin participants were available for analysis, including 357 monozygotic (MZ) and 206 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs. ACD increased with age (0.036 mm per year, P < 0.001) and 0.09 mm shallower in the girls than in the boys (P < 0.001). Age- and sex-adjusted intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for ACD were 0.92 for the MZ and 0.50 for the DZ twins; those for rACD were 0.89 for the MZ and 0.52 for the DZ twins. The best-fitting model yielded 90.1% (95% CI: 88.2%-91.7%) of additive genetic and 9.9% (95% CI: 8.3%-11.8%) of unique environmental effects for ACD and 89.2% (95% CI: 87.1%-90.9%) of additive genetic and 10.8% (95% CI: 9.1%-12.9%) of unique environmental effects for rACD.


Additive genetic effects appear to be the major contributor to the variation of ACD and rACD in Chinese population. High heritability remained even when the data were corrected for the influence of myopia.

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