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Scott A. Read, David Alonso-Caneiro, Stephen J. Vincent, Michael J. Collins; Longitudinal Changes in Choroidal Thickness and Eye Growth in Childhood. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(5):3103-3112. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.15-16446.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To examine longitudinal changes in choroidal thickness and axial length in a population of children with a range of refractive errors.
One hundred and one children (41 myopes and 60 nonmyopes) aged 10 to 15 years participated in this prospective, observational longitudinal study. For each child, 6-month measures of choroidal thickness (using enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography) and axial ocular biometry were collected four times over an 18-month period. Linear mixed-models were used to examine the longitudinal changes in choroidal thickness and the relationship between changes in choroidal thickness and axial eye growth over the study period.
A significant group mean increase in subfoveal choroidal thickness was observed over 18 months (mean increase 13 ± 22 μm, P < 0.001). Myopic children exhibited significantly thinner choroids compared with nonmyopic children (P < 0.001), although there was no significant time by refractive group interaction (P = 0.46), indicating similar changes in choroidal thickness over time in myopes and nonmyopes. However, a significant association between the change in choroidal thickness and the change in axial length over time was found (P < 0.001, β = −0.14). Children showing faster axial eye growth exhibited significantly less choroidal thickening over time compared with children showing slower axial eye growth.
A significant increase in choroidal thickness occurs over an 18-month period in normal 10- to 15-year-old children. Children undergoing faster axial eye growth exhibited less thickening and, in some cases, a thinning of the choroid. These findings support a potential role for the choroid in the mechanisms regulating eye growth in childhood.
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