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T. Kida, R. Li, J. Liu; Postnatal Eyeball Enlargement Influenced by Topical Atropine Treatment in the Rabbit. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1731.
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To investigate possible correlations between atropine treatment and the eyeball enlargement in rabbits.
Ten albino rabbits aged 5 weeks were used in the present study. Each rabbit received a 20 µl of atropine in one eye and the contralateral eye received saline twice a week. We measured the axial length, and corneal diameters every 2 weeks for 23 weeks (7-28 weeks of age). Rabbits were housed under a 12-hour light/12-hour dark cycle, and the measurements were made in the middle of the light period. At a final age of 31-32 weeks, we measured intraocular pressure (IOP). Rabbits were then sacrificed, eyeballs enucleated, and their ocular weights and volumes determined.
From 15 weeks of age the axial length and corneal diameters were significantly shorter (P<0.05) in the atropine treated eye compared with the control eye. This reduction maintained statistically significant throughout the present study. At the final observation, IOP and the mean ocular weight after enucleation were less in atropine treated eye than in the control eye.
Topical atropine commonly used as the treatment of youth-onset myopia is effective for the prevention of the eyeball enlargement and for lowering IOP, which might be related to the development of myopia.
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