• Corneal biomechanical properties following corneal cross-linking: Does age have an effect?

      Alenezi, Bandar; Kazaili, Ahmed; Akhtar, Riaz; Radhakrishnan, Hema; email: hema.radhakrishnan@manchester.ac.uk (2021-11-13)
      To explore the effect of age on corneal biomechanical properties following corneal cross-linking (CXL). A total of 12 pairs of human eye-banked corneas (24 corneas, from 14 females and 10 males) were used in the study. The mean donor age was 48.5 years (ranging from 26 to 71 years). Corneas were divided into three age groups: A (26-41 years), B (42-57 years) and C (58-71 years), with four pairs in each group. For each pair, the right corneas were cross-linked using accelerated CXL with UVA (10 mW/cm ) and riboflavin, while the left corneas served as controls and were not exposed to either UVA irradiation or riboflavin. The corneal elastic modulus of the anterior, mid and posterior corneal stroma was measured using nanoindentation. The difference in the corneal elastic modulus following CXL was significant in the anterior (p = 0.00002) and mid stroma (p = 0.001); however, the difference was not significant in the posterior stroma (p = 0.27) when compared to control corneas. The corneal elastic modulus of the anterior stroma increased by 178.44% in Group A, 119.7% in Group B and 50.73% in Group C compared to control corneas. For the mid stroma, the elastic modulus increased by 47.35% in Group A, 25% in Group B and 24.56% in Group C. No differences were observed in the posterior stroma between age groups. Corneal elasticity showed a greater response to CXL in the younger group compared to older groups. CXL treatment showed effectiveness in enhancing stromal strength, and the effect was concentrated in the anterior and mid stroma with minimal impact on the posterior stroma in all age groups. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.]
    • Flitcroft's model of refractive development in childhood and the possible identification of children at risk of developing significant myopia.

      Charman, W Neil; Radhakrishnan, Hema; email: hema.radhakrishnan@manchester.ac.uk (2021-05-08)
      To better understand juvenile myopia in the context of overall refractive development during childhood and to suggest more informative ways of analysing relevant data, particularly in relation to early identification of those children who are likely to become markedly myopic and would therefore benefit from myopia control. Examples of the frequency distributions of childhood mean spherical refractive errors (MSEs) at different ages, taken from previously-published longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, are analysed in terms of Flitcroft's model of a linear combination of two Gaussian distributions with different means and standard deviations. Flitcroft hypothesises that one, relatively-narrow, Gaussian (Mode 1) represents a "regulated" population which maintains normal emmetropisation and the other, broader, Gaussian (Mode 2) a "dysregulated" population. Analysis confirms that Flitcroft's model successfully describes the major features of the frequency distribution of MSEs in randomly-selected populations of children of the same age. The narrow "regulated" Gaussian typically changes only slightly between the ages of about 6 and 15, whereas the mean of the broader "dysregulated" Gaussian changes with age more rapidly in the myopic direction and its standard deviation increases. These effects vary with the ethnicity, environment and other characteristics of the population involved. At all ages there is considerable overlap between the two Gaussians. This limits the utility of simple refractive cut-off values to identify those children likely to show marked myopic progression. Analysing the frequency distributions for individual MSEs in terms of bi-Gaussian models can provide useful insights into childhood refractive change. A wider exploration of the methodology and its extension to include individual progression rates is warranted, using a range of populations of children exposed to different ethnic, environmental and other factors. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 British Contact Lens Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]