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J Vis. 2011 Mar 25;11(3). pii: 19. doi: 10.1167/11.3.19.

MRI study of the changes in crystalline lens shape with accommodation and aging in humans.

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Abbott Medical Optics, Milpitas, CA, USA.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging was used to study changes in the crystalline lens and ciliary body with accommodation and aging. Monocular images were obtained in 15 young (19-29 years) and 15 older (60-70 years) emmetropes when viewing at far (6 m) and at individual near points (14.5 to 20.9 cm) in the younger group. With accommodation, lens thickness increased (mean ± 95% CI: 0.33 ± 0.06 mm) by a similar magnitude to the decrease in anterior chamber depth (0.31 ± 0.07 mm) and equatorial diameter (0.32 ± 0.04 mm) with a decrease in the radius of curvature of the posterior lens surface (0.58 ± 0.30 mm). Anterior lens surface shape could not be determined due to the overlapping region with the iris. Ciliary ring diameter decreased (0.44 ± 0.17 mm) with no decrease in circumlental space or forward ciliary body movement. With aging, lens thickness increased (mean ± 95% CI: 0.97 ± 0.24 mm) similar in magnitude to the sum of the decrease in anterior chamber depth (0.45 ± 0.21 mm) and increase in anterior segment depth (0.52 ± 0.23 mm). Equatorial lens diameter increased (0.28 ± 0.23 mm) with no change in the posterior lens surface radius of curvature. Ciliary ring diameter decreased (0.57 ± 0.41 mm) with reduced circumlental space (0.43 ± 0.15 mm) and no forward ciliary body movement. Accommodative changes support the Helmholtz theory of accommodation including an increase in posterior lens surface curvature. Certain aspects of aging changes mimic accommodation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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