Astigmatism in infant monkeys reared with cylindrical lenses

Chea Su Kee, Li Fang Hung, Ying Qiao, Earl L. Smith

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


To determine whether developing primate eyes are capable of growing in a manner that eliminates astigmatism, we reared infant monkeys with cylindrical spectacle lenses in front of one or both eyes that optically simulated with-the-rule, against-the-rule, or oblique astigmatism (+1.50-3.00×90, ×180, ×45 or ×135). Refractive development was assessed by retinoscopy, keratometry and A-scan ultrasonography. In contrast to control monkeys, the cylinder-lens-reared monkeys developed significant amounts of astigmatism. The astigmatism was corneal in nature, bilaterally mirror symmetric and oblique in axis, and reversible. The ocular astigmatism appeared to be due to a reduction in the rate of corneal flattening along the steeper meridian while the other principal meridian appeared to flatten at a more normal rate. However, regardless of the orientation of the optically imposed astigmatism, the axis of the ocular astigmatism was not appropriate to compensate for the astigmatic error imposed by the treatment lenses. Our results indicate that visual experience can alter corneal shape, but there was no evidence that primates have an active, visually regulated "sphericalization" mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2721-2739
Number of pages19
JournalVision Research
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Ametropia
  • Astigmatism
  • Cornea
  • Primate
  • Refractive error

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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