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James D. Akula, Toco Y. Chui, David P. Bissig, Bruce A. Berkowitz; A New Focus on Refraction in the "ROP Rat". Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):3470.
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Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is clinically characterized by abnormal retinal vessels at the posterior pole of the eye; it is also commonly characterized by vascular abnormalities in the anterior segment, visual dysfunction which is based in retinal dysfunction, and most commonly of all, arrested eye growth and high refractive error, particularly (and paradoxically) myopia. The Penn et al. (1994) "50/10" oxygen-induced retinopathy rat model of ROP mimics the neurovascular features of ROP. We determined whether the "ROP rat" also models the small-eyed myopia characteristic of ROP.
We examined magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of albino (Sprague-Dawley) and pigmented (Long-Evans) ROP rat eyes and eyes of age- and strain-matched room-air-reared (RAR) controls. We measured the positions and curvatures of the various optical media so that we could estimate the refractive state of each eye based on Hughes' (1979) model eye for the rat.
Even in adulthood (postnatal day 50), Sprague-Dawley and Long-Evans ROP rats were significantly myopic compared to strain-matched RAR rats. The myopia in the Long-Evans ROP rats was more severe than in the Sprague-Dawley ROP rats, but the latter also had significantly shorter axial lengths.
We have found the ROP rat to be a novel and potentially informative model for investigation of physiological mechanisms in myopia in general and the myopia peculiar to ROP in particular. We have, furthermore, shown that MRI can serve as a noninvasive method to evaluate the contributions of the various optical media to refractive state in the living eye.
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