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Sven Jonuscheit, Michael J. Doughty; Evidence for a Relative Thinning of the Peripheral Cornea with Age in White European Subjects. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(9):4121-4128. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-3298.
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purpose. To investigate age-related differences in central and peripheral corneal thickness in humans with univariate and multivariate regression analyses.
methods. Orbscan II (Bausch & Lomb, Inc., Rochester, NY) pachymetry was used to assess the cornea in healthy, white European subjects. A corneal thickness profile across an 8-mm chord along the horizontal meridian was generated at 0.5-mm intervals. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to assess any predictable age-related differences, especially in the peripheral cornea.
results. One hundred nine subjects (109 eyes), aged 18 to 82 years with a mean central corneal thickness (CCT) of 0.585 ± 0.040 mm (± SD, no acoustic factor applied) showed no age-related differences of CCT (P = 0.381). Regression analyses indicated no substantial age-related differences at any location except at 4 mm from center on the nasal side (P = 0.036). However, if considered in relative terms as the corneal thickness profile index (CTPI), a just-significant, age-related, relative thinning was detected at 2.5 mm from center (P = 0.027, nasal). The thinning was even more notable at 3 mm (P < 0.001, r = −0.322) and was substantial at 4 mm (P < 0.001, r = −0.505). Multivariate regression analysis supported these results and indicated that CTPI was best predicted by a combination of age and posterior corneal curvature.
conclusions. The results of this study provide evidence that comparing relative thicknesses emphasizes any age-related pachymetry differences and confirmed substantial age-related thinning of the peripheral cornea in healthy white European individuals. These findings should be considered in assessments of refractive surgery patients.
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