April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Age- and Race-related Changes in Peripapillary and Mid-peripheral Scleral Thickness in Human Donor Eyes
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ryan A Whitley
    Ophthalmology, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL
  • Massimo Antonio Fazio
    Ophthalmology, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL
  • Brandon Smith
    Ophthalmology, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL
  • Christopher A Girkin
    Ophthalmology, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL
  • J Crawford C Downs
    Ophthalmology, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 4263. doi:
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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)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

To investigate peripapillary scleral thickness changes with age in normal human eyes from donors of European (ED) and African (AD) descent.

 
Methods
 

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.

 
Results
 

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).

 
Conclusions
 

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).

 
 
(Top, Ultrasound data): Average scleral thickness plotted at for the AD group (red; mean and 95% CI) in the ED eyes (blue; mean and 95% CI). Sclera significantly thickened with age in the ED group, but significantly thinned with age in the AD group. (Bottom, Tactile Scanner data): Significant scleral thickening with age (p=0.015) was confirmed in a subsample of eyes from the ED group, but too few AD eyes were completed to analyze.
 
(Top, Ultrasound data): Average scleral thickness plotted at for the AD group (red; mean and 95% CI) in the ED eyes (blue; mean and 95% CI). Sclera significantly thickened with age in the ED group, but significantly thinned with age in the AD group. (Bottom, Tactile Scanner data): Significant scleral thickening with age (p=0.015) was confirmed in a subsample of eyes from the ED group, but too few AD eyes were completed to analyze.
 
Keywords: 708 sclera • 413 aging  
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