Optical defocus rapidly changes choroidal thickness in schoolchildren

Danyang Wang, Rachel Ka Man Chun, Manli Liu, Roger Pak Kin Lee, Yuan Sun, Ting Zhang, Chuen Lam, Quan Liu, Chi Ho To

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The current study aimed to examine the short-term choroidal response to optical defocus in schoolchildren. Myopic schoolchildren aged 8-16 were randomly allocated to control group (CG), myopic defocus group (MDG) and hyperopic defocus group (HDG) (n = 17 per group). Children in MDG and HDG received additional +3D and -3D lenses, respectively, to their full corrections on the right eyes. Full correction was given to their left eyes, and on both eyes in the CG. Axial length (AXL) and subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFChT) were then measured by spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Children wore their group-specific correction for 2 hours after which any existing optical defocus was removed, and subjects wore full corrections for another 2 hours. Both the AXL and SFChT were recorded hourly for 4 hours. The mean refraction of all subjects was -3.41 ± 0.37D (± SEM). SFChT thinned when exposed to hyperopic defocus for 2 hours but less thinning was observed in response to myopic defocus compared to the control group (p < 0.05, two-way ANOVA). Removal of optical defocus significantly decreased SFChT in the MDG and significantly increased SFChT in the HDG after 1 and 2 hours (mean percentage change at 2-hour; control vs. hyperopic defocus vs. myopic defocus; -0.33 ± 0.59% vs. 3.04 ± 0.60% vs. -1.34 ± 0.74%, p < 0.01). Our results showed short-term exposure to myopic defocus induced relative choroidal thickening while hyperopic defocus led to choroidal thinning in children. This rapid and reversible choroidal response may be an important clinical parameter in gauging retinal response to optical defocus in human myopia.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0161535
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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