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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Dec;51(12):6882-9. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-5787. Epub 2010 Jul 29.

In vivo analysis of ciliary muscle morphologic changes with accommodation and axial ametropia.

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Ophthalmic Research Group, Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.



To use anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) to analyze ciliary muscle morphology and changes with accommodation and axial ametropia.


Fifty prepresbyopic volunteers, aged 19 to 34 years were recruited. High-resolution images were acquired of nasal and temporal ciliary muscles in the relaxed state and at stimulus vergence levels of -4 and -8 D. Objective accommodative responses and axial lengths were also recorded. Two-way, mixed-factor analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were used to assess the changes in ciliary muscle parameters with accommodation and determine whether these changes are dependent on the nasal-temporal aspect or axial length, whereas linear regression analysis was used to analyze the relationship between axial length and ciliary muscle length.


The ciliary muscle was longer (r = 0.34, P = 0.02), but not significantly thicker (F = 2.84, P = 0.06), in eyes with greater axial length. With accommodation, the ciliary muscle showed a contractile shortening (F = 42.9. P < 0.001), particularly anteriorly (F = 177.2, P < 0.001), and a thickening of the anterior portion (F= 46.2, P < 0.001). The ciliary muscle was thicker (F = 17.8, P < 0.001) and showed a greater contractile response on the temporal side.


The accommodative changes observed support an anterior, as well as centripetal, contractile shift of ciliary muscle mass.

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