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Ocular biometric correlates of ciliary muscle thickness in human myopia




Anterior segment optical coherent tomography (AS-OCT) is used to further examine previous reports that ciliary muscle thickness (CMT) is increased in myopic eyes. With reference to temporal and nasal CMT, interrelationships between biometric and morphological characteristics of anterior and posterior segments are analysed for British-White and British-South-Asian adults with and without myopia.


Data are presented for the right eyes of 62 subjects (British-White n = 39, British-South-Asian n = 23, aged 18–40 years) with a range of refractive error (mean spherical error (MSE (D)) −1.74 ± 3.26; range −10.06 to +4.38) and separated into myopes (MSE (D) <−0.50, range −10.06 to −0.56; n = 30) and non-myopes (MSE (D) ≥−0.50, −0.50 to +4.38; n = 32). Temporal and nasal ciliary muscle cross-sections were imaged using a Visante AS-OCT. Using Visante software, manual measures of nasal and temporal CMT (NCMT and TCMT respectively) were taken in successive posterior 1 mm steps from the scleral spur over a 3 mm distance (designated NCMT1, TCMT1 et seq). Measures of axial length and anterior chamber depth were taken with an IOLMaster biometer. MSE and corneal curvature (CC) measurements were taken with a Shin-Nippon auto-refractor. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine total ocular volume (OV) for 31 of the original subject group. Statistical comparisons and analyses were made using mixed repeated measures anovas, Pearson's correlation coefficient and stepwise forward multiple linear regression.


MSE was significantly associated with CMT, with thicker CMT2 and CMT3 being found in the myopic eyes (p = 0.002). In non-myopic eyes TCMT1, TCMT2, NCMT1 and NCMT2 correlated significantly with MSE, AL and OV (p < 0.05). In contrast, myopic eyes failed generally to exhibit a significant correlation between CMT, MSE and axial length but notably retained a significant correlation between OV, TCMT2, TCMT3, NCMT2 and NCMT3 (p < 0.05). OV was found to be a significantly better predictor of TCMT2 and TCMT3 than AL by approximately a factor of two (p < 0.001). Anterior chamber depth was significantly associated with both temporal and nasal CMT2 and CMT3; TCMT1 correlated positively with CC. Ethnicity had no significant effect on differences in CMT.


Increased CMT is associated with myopia. We speculate that the lack of correlation in myopic subjects between CMT and axial length, but not between CMT and OV, is evidence that disrupted feedback between the fovea and ciliary apparatus occurs in myopia development.