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H M Culhane, B Winn, B Gilmartin; Human dynamic closed-loop accommodation augmented by sympathetic inhibition.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(6):1137-1143.
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PURPOSE: A ciliary alpha-adrenoceptor accommodative effect has been proposed, caused by a small population of alpha1-inhibitory receptors in excised human ciliary muscle. This study was intended to investigate the effect on the closed-loop dynamic accommodative process of modulating alpha1-adrenoceptor activity by topical instillation of the alpha1-adrenergic agonist, phenylephrine hydrochloride. METHODS: A group of 10 visually normal subjects viewed a photopic (30 candela/m2) high-contrast Maltese cross, which was modulated sinusoidally (0.05-0.6Hz) and stepwise over a 2-D range (2-4 D). Monocular temporal accommodation responses were measured using a continuously recording dynamic tracking infrared optometer under two trial conditions: after instillation of saline control solution and 50 minutes subsequent to the instillation of 0.27 microl 0.4% benoxinate hydrochloride and 0.27 microl 2.5% phenylephrine hydrochloride. Pupil size and accommodative amplitude were measured at 90-second intervals for 50 minutes after drug instillation. All accommodative measurements were recorded through a fixed 4-mm pupil. RESULTS: A significant reduction in accommodative amplitude (11%; P < 0.05) was recorded, whereas pupil size showed a significant increase (33%; P < 0.05). No significant change in step-response dynamics was observed. However, phenylephrine hydrochloride caused a significant increase in accommodative gain in the low and midtemporal frequency ranges compared with the effect of a saline control treatment. No significant variation in phase lag was observed. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time in humans, this study shows that augmentation of the alpha1-inhibitory sympathetic contribution results in increased accommodative gain at low and midtemporal frequencies, which is consistent with findings in animal studies.
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