Crystalline lens thickness change is associated with axial length elongation and myopia progression in orthokeratology

Published:November 10, 2021DOI:



      Considering individual variability in regards to the effects of orthokeratology (ortho-k) on myopia progression and controversies regarding the precise underlying mechanism, the aim of this study was to investigate several ocular measurements associated with axial length (AL) growth in children wearing ortho-k lenses.


      In this retrospective chart review, medical records of 53 Chinese children who wore ortho-k lenses over the course of 12 months were reviewed. Baseline variables included age at initiation of ortho-k wear, refractive error (spherical equivalent, SE), central corneal thickness (CCT), and flat and steep keratometry of corneal principal meridians. The change of anterior chamber depth (ACD) and the change of crystalline lens thickness (CLT) between baseline and the 12-month follow-up were also analyzed. The contributions of all analyzed variables to AL change were assessed using univariate and multivariate regression analyses.


      Initially, the results of paired t-test showed that CLT and AL were significantly increased after 12 months of ortho-k wear compared with that at baseline (P = 0.001 and < 0.001). The ACD did not change significantly after 12 months compared with that at baseline (P = 0.491). Subsequently, univariate analyses showed that a reduced rate of AL elongation was found in children who were older age at initiation of ortho-k wear (P = 0.028), had greater SE (higher degree of myopia) at baseline (p = 0.006), had thicker CCT at baseline (P = 0.04), and had greater increase of CLT (P = 0.001) in 12 months. At last, only greater SE (higher degree of myopia) and greater increase of CLT were associated with smaller increases of AL in multivariable analyses, (P = 0.003 and 0.001).


      Both CLT and AL were significantly increased in children with overnight ortho-k wear after 12 months of follow-up. Greater baseline SE and greater increase of CLT were associated with less increase in AL during ortho-k wear in children with myopia.


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