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Yibin Tian, Christine F. Wildsoet; Diurnal Fluctuations and Developmental Changes in Ocular Dimensions and Optical Aberrations in Young Chicks. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(9):4168-4178. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1211.
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purpose. To investigate further the emmetropization process in young chicks by studying the diurnal fluctuations and developmental changes in the ocular dimensions and optical aberrations, including refractive errors, of normal eyes and eyes that had the ciliary nerve sectioned (CNX).
methods. The ocular dimensions and aberrations in both eyes of eight CNX (surgery on right eyes only) and eight normal chicks were measured with high-frequency A-scan ultrasonography and aberrometry, respectively, four times a day on five different days from posthatching day 13 to 35. A fixed pupil size of 2 mm was used to analyze aberration data. Repeated-measures ANOVA was applied to examine the effects of age, time of day, and surgery.
results. Refractive errors and most higher-order aberrations decreased with development in both normal and CNX eyes. However, although normal eyes showed a positive shift in spherical aberration with age, changing from negative spherical aberration initially, CNX eyes consistently exhibited positive spherical aberration. Anterior chamber depth, lens thickness, vitreous chamber depth, and thus optical axial length all increased with development. Many of these ocular parameters also underwent diurnal changes, and mostly these dynamic characteristics showed no age dependency and no effect of CNX. Anterior chamber depth, vitreous chamber depth, and optical axial length were all greater in the evening than in the morning, whereas the choroids were thinner in the evening. Paradoxically, eyes were more hyperopic in the evening, when they were longest. Although CNX eyes, having enlarged pupils, were exposed to larger higher-order aberrations, their growth pattern was similar to that of normal eyes.
conclusions. Young chicks that are still emmetropizing, show significant diurnal fluctuations in ocular dimensions and some optical aberrations, superimposed on overall increases in the former and developmental decreases in the latter, even when accommodation is prevented. The possibility that these diurnal fluctuations are used to decode the eye’s refractive error status for emmetropization warrants investigation. That eyes undergoing ciliary nerve section have more higher-order aberrations but do not become myopic implies a threshold for retinal image degradation below which the emmetropization process is not affected.
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