March 2012
Volume 53, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   March 2012
Tarsal Height By Decade In Adult Males
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Irina Belinsky
    Ophthalmology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York
  • Richard N. Palu
    Ophthalmology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Irina Belinsky, None; Richard N. Palu, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2012, Vol.53, 1447. doi:
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      Irina Belinsky, Richard N. Palu; Tarsal Height By Decade In Adult Males. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):1447.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To document the height of the upper and lower tarsus by decade and any changes that occur as the patient ages. To our knowledge, this is the first study to measure the tarsus in vivo and to examine the anatomy by age.

Methods: : The vertical height of the tarsus of 120 eyelids of 30 male patients ages 50-79 years was measured using a calibrated Castroviejo caliper. Patients were grouped by decade; 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 years old. Three measurements were taken of each eyelid, for a total of 180 upper and 180 lower tarsus measurements. The upper eyelid was everted and measured at its maximal vertical height, at 5mm lateral to and at 5mm medial to the maximal height. We chose this method to neutralize the well documented temporal shift of the upper tarsus with age. The lower tarsus was measured in primary gaze along the axes of the pupil, lateral limbus, and medial limbus. The measurements were compared between decades using a 2-tailed t-test analysis.

Results: : The average age in each group of 10 patients was 55, 66, and 75 years. There was no significant difference between the left and right lids. For men in their 50’s, the upper lid lateral tarsus (LT) in millimeters measured a mean of 6.6 (range 4.0-9.0), maximal vertical height (MVH) of 8.5 (6.0-11.0), and medial tarsus (MT) of 6.7 (4.5-9.0). Lower lid LT was 2.9 (2.5-3.5), the central height was 4.0 (3.0-5.0), and the MT was 3.1 (2.5-4.0). For men in their 60’s, the upper lid LT was 7.3 (range 5.0-9.0), MVH was 8.9 (7.0-11.0), and MT was 7.0 (6.0-10.0). The lower lid LT was 2.9 (2.0-4.0), the central tarsus was 3.9 (2.5-4.5), and the MT was 3.3 (3.0-4.0). For men in their 70’s, the upper lid LT was 6.4 (range 4.0-8.5), MVH was 8.2 (6.0-9.5), and MT was 6.6 (4.0-8.0). The lower lid LT was 3.0 (2.0-4.0), the central tarsus was 3.6 (2.5-5.0), and the MT was 3.0 (2.5-4.0). There was no statistically significant difference between the 5th and 6th decades. The upper lid lateral tarsus (p=0.02) and upper lid maximal vertical height (p=0.03) were significantly greater in the 60’s than 70’s group. There was a difference in the lower lid medial tarsus between the 60s and 70s groups, but this difference was not statistically significant using the 2-tailed t-test.

Conclusions: : There is no statistically significant difference in tarsal height between 50s and 60s, but a significant difference emerges in tarsal height in the upper lid from the 6th decade to the 7th.

Keywords: eyelid • comparative anatomy • aging 

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