October 1993
Volume 34, Issue 11
Articles  |   October 1993
Aqueous humor flow and flare in patients with myotonic dystrophy.
Author Affiliations
  • A R Khan
    Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.
  • R F Brubaker
    Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science October 1993, Vol.34, 3131-3139. doi:
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      A R Khan, R F Brubaker; Aqueous humor flow and flare in patients with myotonic dystrophy.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1993;34(11):3131-3139.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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PURPOSE: Myotonic dystrophy is an autosomal dominant form of muscular dystrophy associated with a mutation that affects a gene on chromosome 19. Extremely low intraocular pressure is one of a constellation of clinical signs that sometimes accompany this disorder. This study was performed to determine if the ocular hypotony can be explained by aqueous humor hyposecretion. METHODS: Seventeen persons with myotonic dystrophy and seventeen age-matched controls were studied. Intraocular pressure, light scattering (flare), fluorescein clearance at various times of day, and the response of the eye to the topical timolol were measured. RESULTS: Intraocular pressure was 40% lower in the persons with myotonic dystrophy (8.4 mm Hg vs 14.0 mm Hg) and flare was 50% higher (55.8 mg/dl albumin equivalent vs 37.1 mg/dl albumin equivalent). Fluorescein clearance in persons with myotonic dystrophy was indistinguishable from normal at all times of day. Myotonic eyes responded normally to topical timolol. The physiological data of this study are most consistent with the conclusion that the rate of aqueous humor flow is reduced approximately 9%, and the rate of inward leakage of light scattering proteins is increased approximately 37% in well-established myotonic dystrophy with ocular hypotony. CONCLUSIONS: The reduced aqueous humor flow alone is insufficient to explain the ocular hypotony. We hypothesize that the hypotony is due primarily to atrophy of the ciliary muscle that increases fluid exchange between the anterior chamber and the anterior uvea with consequent enhancement of uveoscleral outflow.


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