Study examines growth trends of anterior segment anatomy
BALTIMORE — Anterior segment anatomy and structural changes with eye growth show logarithmic growth trends, with maximal growth rates in the first year of life, according to “hot topic” designated research at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting.
Researchers utilized ultrasound biomicroscopy imaging to determine ocular growth trends for normal pediatric anterior segment anatomy and structural changes with eye growth in normal infants, children and young adults to create a baseline for comparison to eyes with primary congenital and juvenile glaucoma.
In the pediatric age group, mean anterior chamber width, area, perimeter and height were significantly smaller. During the first year of life, anterior chamber width increased by 50% and was then relatively unchanged until adulthood.
“These findings highlight key structural differences in the pediatric eye compared to the adult eye,” Janet L. Alexander, MD, told Healio.com/OSN.
Central corneal thickness of 567.2 ± 30.3 µm in the adult age group had a statistically significant negative correlation with age, which was consistent with previous trends.
Researchers found that 10 of the 19 parameters demonstrated statistically significant (P < .05) differences between younger and older age groups, Alexander said.
Sulcus-to-sulcus distance and trabecular-ciliary process distance increased linearly and reached adult size in the teenage years, according to the researchers.
“We encourage fellow researchers to share our prospective UBM imaging and analysis protocol,” Alexander said. “Our goal is to expand the study above, and many like it, through the open sharing of data and UBM images to more quickly advance our field. As we like to say, ‘There is power in numbers.’”
The methodology and research team background are available in detail on the website eyeubm.info.
Future studies will determine if structural variants in pediatric eyes with cataracts or glaucoma have clinical significance related to outcomes, Alexander said. – by Abigail Sutton
Stoleru G, et al. Anterior segment from infancy to early adulthood using ultrasound biomicroscopy. Presented at: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting; May 7-11, 2017; Baltimore.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.