Pediatric Corneal Structural Development Characterized by Ultrasound Biomicroscopy
Julia M. Byrd, MD; Snehaa Maripudi; Gianna Stoleru; Wuqaas Munir; Osamah Saeedi; Roni Levin, MD;Mohamad Jaafar, MD; William Madigan, MD; Janet L. Alexander, MD
Children’s National Medical Center
Introduction: Cornea pathology in the early years of life can have a profound impact on visual development. Our understanding of normal cornea development is relatively limited. Ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) has a key advantage in studying the anterior structures of the eye in its unique ability to image eyes with corneal opacity. This study aims to evaluate healthy corneas as they mature from infancy to adulthood using UBM.
Methods: UBM images obtained from 21 healthy eyes of 21 patients, age 30 weeks gestational age to 26 years. ImageJ software was used to measure 21 corneal parameters from 7 images for each eye. Parameters were fit with logistic growth curves and evaluated for significant differences.
Results: Selected average values as follows: Corneal thickness: 556um centrally, 590um paracentral, 810um peripherally, anterior curvature: 43 diopters, posterior curvature: 50.5 diopters, cross-sectional width: 11.0mm, endothelium cross-section 12.6mm. The youngest patient group (age under 6 months) had markedly lower angle-to-angle length, lower endothelial cross-sectional length, and lower corneal radii of curvatures.
Discussion: Based on our findings, most of the structural changes and growth in the cornea occurs in the first months of life.
Conclusion: UBM is an effective and accurate method for describing corneal growth and structural characteristics in the pediatric population. Further study will focus on comparing this control data to data from eyes with corneal pathology. Greater understanding of pediatric corneal development may facilitate improvement in managing pediatric ocular disease involving the cornea.
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