Diurnal variation of anterior scleral and conjunctival thickness

Read, Scott A., Alonso-Caneiro, David, Free, Kelly A., Labuc-Spoors, Elspeth, Leigh, Jaron K., Quirk, Charlotte J., Yang, Zoe Y-L., & Vincent, Stephen J. (2016) Diurnal variation of anterior scleral and conjunctival thickness. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 36(3), pp. 279-289.

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Abstract

Purpose

To examine whether anterior scleral and conjunctival thickness undergoes significant diurnal variation over a 24-hour period.

Methods

Nineteen healthy young adults (mean age 22 ± 2 years) with minimal refractive error (mean spherical equivalent refraction -0.08 ± 0.39 D), had measures of anterior scleral and conjunctival thickness collected using anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) at seven measurement sessions over a 24-hour period. The thickness of the temporal anterior sclera and conjunctiva were determined at 6 locations (each separated by 0.5 mm) at varying distances from the scleral spur for each subject at each measurement session.

Results

Both the anterior sclera and conjunctiva were found to undergo significant diurnal variations in thickness over a 24-hour period (both p <0.01). The sclera and conjunctiva exhibited a similar pattern of diurnal change, with a small magnitude thinning observed close to midday, and a larger magnitude thickening observed in the early morning immediately after waking. The amplitude of diurnal thickness change was larger in the conjunctiva (mean amplitude 69 ± 29 μm) compared to the sclera (21 ± 8 μm). The conjunctiva exhibited its smallest magnitude of change at the scleral spur location (mean amplitude 56 ± 17 μm) whereas the sclera exhibited its largest magnitude of change at this location (52 ± 21 μm).

Conclusions

This study provides the first evidence of diurnal variations occurring in the thickness of the anterior sclera and conjunctiva. Studies requiring precise measures of these anatomical layers should therefore take time of day into consideration. The majority of the observed changes occurred in the early morning immediately after waking and were of larger magnitude in the conjunctiva compared to the sclera. Thickness changes at other times of the day were of smaller magnitude and generally not statistically significant.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 93309
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Sclera, Conjunctiva, Diurnal, Anterior segment, Optical coherence tomography
DOI: 10.1111/opo.12288
ISSN: 1475-1313
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Optical Technology (111302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Authors
Copyright Statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Read SA, Alonso-Caneiro D, Free KA, Labuc-Spoors E, Leigh JK, Quirk CJ, Yang ZY-L & Vincent SJ. Diurnal variation of anterior scleral and conjunctival thickness. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2016; 36: 279–289, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.12288. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Deposited On: 01 Mar 2016 04:56
Last Modified: 18 May 2016 03:33

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