PURPOSE. It is well documented that myopia is associated with an increase in axial length or, more specifically, in vitreous chamber depth. Whether the transverse dimensions of the eye also increase in myopia is relevant to further understanding of its development. METHODS. The posterior retinal surface was localized in two-dimensional space in both eyes of young adult white and Taiwanese-Chinese iso- and anisomyopes (N = 56), from measured keratometry, A-scan ultrasonography, and central and peripheral refraction (±35°) data, with the aid of a computer modeling program designed for this purpose. Anisomyopes had 2 D or more interocular difference in their refractive errors, with mean values in their more myopic eyes of -5.57 D and in their less myopic eyes of -3.25 D, similar to the means of the two isomyopic groups. The derived retinal contours for the more and less myopic eyes were compared by way of investigating ocular shape changes that accompany myopia, in the posterior region of the vitreous chamber. The presence and size of optic disc crescents were also investigated as an index of retinal stretching in myopia. RESULTS. Relative to the less myopic eyes of anisometropic subjects, the more myopic eyes were more elongated and also distorted into a more prolate shape in both the white and Chinese groups. However, the Chinese eyes showed a greater and more uniform relative expansion of the posterior retinal surface in their more myopic eyes, and this was associated with larger optic disc crescents. The changes in the eyes of whites displayed a nasal-temporal axial asymmetry, reflecting greater enlargement of the nasal retinal sector. CONCLUSIONS. Myopia is associated with increased axial length and a prolate shape. This prolate shape is consistent with the proposed idea that axial and transverse dimensions of the eye are regulated differently. The observations that ocular shape changes are larger but more symmetrical in Chinese eyes than in eyes of whites warrant further investigation.
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- axial length
- vitreous chamber depth
- transverse dimensions