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Ryan A Whitley, Massimo Antonio Fazio, Brandon Smith, Christopher A Girkin, J Crawford C Downs; Age- and Race-related Changes in Peripapillary and Mid-peripheral Scleral Thickness in Human Donor Eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4263.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate peripapillary scleral thickness changes with age in normal human eyes from donors of European (ED) and African (AD) descent.
Twenty-nine pairs of posterior scleral shells from human donors (10 AD, 19 ED; age: 20-90 years) were pressurized at 10 mmHg with PBS. Scleral thickness was first acquired using ultrasound (PacScan 300P) at 20 discrete points in the peripapillary and mid-peripheral regions. The PBS was then replaced by 5% glutaraldehyde at 10 mmHg for 1 hr. In a subsample of 25 eyes (9 ED pairs, 6 AD pairs + 1 eye), the outer and inner surfaces of the sclera were reconstructed using a tactile scanner (Roland Modela MDX-20), and scleral thickness mapped. Scleral thickness changes with age and race were estimated using multivariate linear regression.
Sclera was significantly thicker in the peripapillary region compared to the mid-peripheral region in both the ED (172 μm, p<0.001) and AD groups (50 μm, p<0.05). For both regions combined (Figure), scleral thickness significantly increased with age in the ED group (2.105 μm/year, p=0.01), while an opposite trend of thinning with age was observed in the AD group (-2.436 μm/year, p=0.01). Overall, the scleral thickness at 90 years in the AD group was estimated to be 205 μm thinner than the ED group (Figure; p<0.001). In the subsample of eyes of ED eyes measured with the tactile scanner, the peripapillary sclera was thicker than mid-peripheral sclera (71 μm, p<0.001), and the thickness significantly increased with age (1.915 μm/year, p=0.015).
Scleral thickness data measured in the same eyes with two different techniques showed similar trends: 1) peripapillary sclera was thicker than in the mid-periphery; 2) scleral thickness significantly increased with age in the ED group; 3) overall scleral thickness at 90 years old was estimated to be 205 µm thinner in the AD group compared to the ED group (ultrasound data only).
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