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M. N. Mehta, A. Fay; Correlation Between Orbital Maturation and Age: A Pilot Study With Cadaver Crania. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4376.
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Orbital development and subsequent orbital volume can be adversely affected in children by orbital space occupying lesions leading to expansion of the orbit. Alternatively enucleation for retinoblastoma can lead to underdevelopment of the orbit.In addition to aesthetic implications, the resulting asymmetry in orbital volume between the affected eye and the normal eye also poses a challenging situation for surgical repair. Continuing growth and development of the orbit can undermine corrective surgical attempts if performed at the wrong age. Our study attempts to determine the age and rate at which the human orbit approaches adult volume by measuring the eye sockets of children and adults from different races.
We examined a large collection of 130 human remains belonging to the Harvard University Department of Anthropology, Peabody Museum. The largest available collection of skulls comprised of Native North Americans. Caucasian and Asian populations were also studied. Ages ranged from 0 years to 40 years. Age of each cranium was based on dentition. Volumetric assessment of the orbits was performed using 1 mm glass beads and graduated cylinders. Additional linear measurements were used to determine the relative positions of key orbital and periorbital ostia. The measurements of each population were separately interpreted.
Our preliminary results hint at a linear correlation between age and orbital volume in Native North American skulls. We recorded an average orbital volume of 12.33 cm3 for the age group 0-2 years, 15.7 cm3 for the age group 2-5 years, 18.3 cm3 for 5-10 years and 21.23 cm3 for 10-15 years.
Orbital development and age are closely related. The volumetric and linear recordings of this small study may preclude definitive conclusions. However this pilot study will hopefully provide the incentive and basis for a larger study to address the correlation between age and orbital development.
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