Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Retinal profile and structural differences between myopes and emmetropes
by Clark, Christopher Anderson, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2013, 170; 3616989
Abstract (Summary)

Refractive development has been shown to be influenced by optical defocus in the eye and the interpretation of this signal appears to be localized in the retina. Optical defocus is not uniform across the retina and has been suggested as a potential cause of myopia development. Specifically hyperopic focus, i.e. focusing light behind the retina, may signal the eye to elongate, causing myopia. This non-uniform hyperopic signal appears to be due to the retinal shape. Ultimately, these signals are detected by the retina in an as yet undetermined manner. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the retinal profile using a novel method developed at Indiana University and then to examine retinal structural changes across the retina associated with myopia.

Myopes exhibited more prolate retinas than hyperopes/emmetropes using the SD OCT. Using the SD OCT, this profile difference was detectable starting at 5 degrees from the fovea, which was closer than previously reported in the literature. These results agreed significantly with results found from peripheral refraction and peripheral axial length at 10 degrees. Overall, the total retina was thinner for myopes than hyperopes/emmetropes. It was also statistically significantly thinner for the Outer Nuclear Layer (ONL), Inner Nuclear Layer (INL) and Outer Plexiform Layer (OPL) but not for other retinal layers such as the Ganglion Layer. Thinning generally occurred outside of 5 degrees.

The SD OCT method provided a nearly 10 fold increase in sensitivity which allowed for detection of profile changes closer to the fovea. The location of the retinal changes may be interesting as the layers that showed significant differences in thickness are also layers that contain cells believed to be associated with refractive development (amacrine, bipolar, and photoreceptor cells.) The reason for the retinal changes cannot be determined with this study, but possible theories include stretch due to axial elongation, neural remodeling due to blur, and/or direct influence on refractive development due to neural cell densities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Elsner, Ann E.
Commitee: Burns, Stephen A., Busey, Thomas, Thibos, Larry N.
School: Indiana University
Department: Vision Science
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Ophthalmology, Optics, Developmental biology
Keywords: Emmetropization, Myopia, Partial coherence interferometry, Refractive development, Retinal structure
Publication Number: 3616989
ISBN: 978-1-303-84039-5
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