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Xingwu Zhong, Jian Ge, Haohui Nie, Earl L. Smith, III; Compensation for Experimentally Induced Hyperopic Anisometropia in Adolescent Monkeys. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(10):3373-3379. doi: 10.1167/iovs.04-0226.
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purpose. Early in life, the optical demand associated with the eye’s effective refractive state regulates emmetropization in many species, including primates. However, the potential role of optical demand and/or defocus in the genesis of common refractive errors, like myopia, that normally develop much later in life is not known. The purpose of this study was to determine whether chronic optical defocus alters refractive development in monkeys at ages corresponding to when myopia typically develops in children.
methods. A hyperopic anisometropia was produced in seven adolescent rhesus monkeys by photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) with an excimer laser. Standard treatment algorithms for correcting myopia in humans were used to selectively flatten the central cornea of one eye thereby producing relative hyperopic refractive errors in the treated eyes. The laser ablation zones were 5.0 mm in diameter and centered on the monkeys’ pupils. The laser procedures were performed when the monkeys were 2 to 2.5 years old, which corresponded to onset ages between approximately 8 and 10 human years. The ocular effects of the induced anisometropia were assessed by corneal topography, retinoscopy, and A-scan ultrasonography.
results. By approximately 30 days after PRK, the experimentally induced refractive errors had stabilized and the treated eyes were between +0.75 and +2.25 D more hyperopic than their fellow eyes. Subsequently, over the next 300 to 400 days, six of the seven monkeys showed systematic reductions in the degree of anisometropia. Although some regression in corneal power occurred, the compensating refractive changes were primarily due to relative interocular differences in vitreous chamber growth.
conclusions. Vision-dependent mechanisms that are sensitive to refractive error are still active in adolescent primates and probably play a role in maintaining stable refractive errors in the two eyes. Consequently, conditions that result in consistent hyperopic defocus could potentially contribute to the development of juvenile onset myopia in children.
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