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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Mar 1;59(3):1609-1616. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-21665.

Parapapillary Gamma Zone and Progression of Myopia in School Children: The Beijing Children Eye Study.

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Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Tongren Eye Care Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Department of Ophthalmology, Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.



To assess the development and enlargement of the parapapillary gamma zone in school children.


This school-based prospective longitudinal study included Chinese children attending grade 1 in 2011 and returning for yearly follow-up examinations until 2016. These examinations consisted of a comprehensive ocular examination with biometry and color fundus photographs. The parents underwent a standardized interview. The parapapillary gamma zone was defined as the area with visible sclera at the temporal optic disc margin, and the optic disc itself was measured on fundus photographs.


The study included 294 children (mean age in 2016, 11.4 ± 0.5 years [range, 10-13 years]; mean axial length, 24.1 ± 1.1 mm [range, 21.13-27.29 mm]). In multivariate analysis, larger increases in the gamma zone area during the study period were correlated (coefficient of determination for bivariate analysis [r2], r2 = 0.69) with larger increases in the vertical-to-horizontal disc diameter ratios (P < 0.001; standardized regression coefficient beta [beta], 0.53; nonstandardized regression coefficient B [B], 4.05; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 3.37-4.73), larger axial elongation (P < 0.001; beta, 0.32; B, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.26-0.47), a larger vertical disc diameter at baseline (P < 0.001; beta, 0.22; B, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.62-1.33), a larger gamma zone area at baseline (P < 0.001; beta, 0.14; B, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.17-0.64), and more time spent indoors studying (P = 0.015; beta, 0.10; B, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.02-0.17).


The development and enlargement of the gamma zone in the temporal parapapillary region were associated with an optic disc rotation around the vertical disc axis as indicated by an increasing vertical-to-horizontal disc diameter ratio. These morphologic findings fit with the notion of a backward pull of the temporal peripapillary sclera through the optic nerve dura mater in axially elongated eyes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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