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Ian Cunningham, Arvind Chandna; Normal development of central corneal thickness and intra-ocular pressure. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5525.
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To measure central corneal thickness (CCT) and intra-ocular pressure (IOP) under general anaesthesia for infants under 8 years of age.
This study prospectively measured CCT and IOP in 195 Caucasian children attending Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, UK for a surgical procedure unrelated to ophthalmology. Children had no ocular anomalies and underwent general anaesthesia ensuring stable fixation was maintained during IOP and CCT measurements. Children with history of prematurity or other systemic complications were not invited to participate. CCT was measured using a Palmscan pachymeter with a 50Hz ultrasound probe (MicroMedical Devices, USA). IOP was measured by electronic indentation tonometry using Tonopen XL (Reichart, USA).
Age ranged from 7 weeks to 7and ¼ years (Mean±SD=138±95wks). Over half of children attended for ENT procedures. There was a small trend for CCT to decrease within the first year of life although overall there was no correlation with increasing age (R=-0.0006). There was no statistical difference between right and left CCT so right eye values only were analysed (CCT: t=0.06, df=394, p=0.27; IOP: t=-0.65, df=340, p=0.26). Average CCT was 539±39nm range 470-646nm. Average IOP was 9.8±2.6mmHg range 4 to 18mmHg. There was no correlation between CCT and IOP (R=-0.0025).
In healthy normally developing children CCT was shown to slightly decrease in the first year of life although there appears to be no consistent growth pattern such as that observed for axial length or anterior chamber depth. It appears there is a large range of corneal thickness in early childhood and it measurement may assist in diagnosing of buphthalmos or infantile glaucoma yet not used in isolation.
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