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William R. Davis, Thomas W. Raasch, G. Lynn Mitchell, Donald O. Mutti, Karla Zadnik; Corneal Asphericity and Apical Curvature in Children: A Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Evaluation. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(6):1899-1906. doi: 10.1167/iovs.04-0558.
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purpose. The contour of the human cornea is closely modeled by a conic section, which is fully described by asphericity (Q) and apical radius of curvature (r o). The relationship between corneal shape and other ocular dimensions in children, including anterior and vitreous chamber depths, axial length, and spherical equivalent refractive error, was investigated.
methods. Corneal asphericity and r o were calculated by using corneal topography data on 643 children (72 myopes, 370 emmetropes, and 201 hyperopes), ages 6 to 15 years, who participated in the Orinda Longitudinal Study of Myopia (OLSM) during 1991. Measurements from a younger subset of these children, including 8 myopes, 92 emmetropes, and 75 hyperopes, ages 6 to 9 years in 1991, were compared to 1996 data for longitudinal analysis.
results. Mean ± SD Q of the 1991 study sample was −0.346 ± 0.101, representing a prolate corneal shape. Almost all (99.7%) of the corneas examined were prolate. Corneal asphericity was less prolate among myopes than in emmetropes and hyperopes (P = 0.010). Less prolate corneas were related to deeper anterior chamber depths among emmetropes (r = 0.324, P < 0.0001) and hyperopes (r = 0.275, P < 0.0001), but not among myopes (r = 0.230, P = 0.0515). Flatter values of r o were related to longer vitreous chamber depth (r = 0.607, P < 0.0001) and axial length (r = 0.606, P < 0.0001) in all refractive error groups. Initial corneal shape was unrelated to change in refractive error over a 5-year period.
conclusions. Most corneas examined in this study were prolate in contour. Deeper anterior chamber depths were related to less prolate corneas among emmetropes and hyperopes, which is probably the result of mechanical influences on the peripheral cornea as the anterior chamber elongates during ocular growth. Longitudinal results suggest initial corneal shape is of little or no value in predicting refractive error progression.
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