Ciliary muscle dimension changes with accommodation vary in myopia and emmetropia

Dinesh Kaphle, Katrina L. Schmid, Leon N. Davies, Marwan Suheimat, David A. Atchison*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether accommodation-induced changes in ciliary muscle dimensions vary between emmetropes and myopes, and the effect of the image analysis method.

Methods: Seventy adults aged 18 to 27 years consisted of 25 people with emmetropia (spherical equivalent refraction [SER] +0.21 ± 0.36 diopters [D]) and 45 people with myopia (-2.84 ± 1.72 D). There were 23 people with low myopia (>-3 D) and 22 people with moderate myopia (-3 to -6 D). Right eye ciliary muscles were imaged (Visante OCT; Carl Zeiss Meditec) at 0 D and 6 D demands. Measures included ciliary muscle length (CML), ciliary muscle curved length (CMLarc), maximum ciliary muscle thickness (CMTmax), CMT1, CMT2, and CMT3 (fixed distances 1-3 mm from the scleral spur), CM25, CM50, and CM75 (proportional distances 25%-75%). Linear mixed model analysis determined effects of refractive groups, race, and demand on dimensions. Significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: Myopic eyes had greater CML and CMLarc nasally than emmetropic eyes. Myopic eyes had thicker muscles than emmetropic eyes at nasal positions, except CM25 and CMT3, and at CM75 temporally. During accommodation and only nasally, CML reduced in emmetropic and myopic eyes, and CMLarc reduced in myopic eyes only. During accommodation, both nasally and temporally, muscles thickened anteriorly (CMT1 and CM25) and thinned posteriorly (CMT3 and CM75) except for temporal CM75. Moderate myopic eyes had greater temporal CMLarc than low myopic eyes, and the moderate myopes had thicker muscles both nasally and temporally using fixed and proportional distances.

Conclusions: People with myopia had longer and thicker ciliary muscles than people with emmetropia. During accommodation, the anterior muscle thickened and the curved nasal muscle length shortened, more in myopic than in emmetropic eyes. The fixed distance method is recommended for repeat measures in the same individual. The proportional distance method is recommended for comparisons between refractive groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  • Myopia
  • Emmetropia
  • Accommodation
  • ciliary muscle
  • Optical Coherence Tomography
  • Muscle, Smooth
  • Ciliary Body/physiology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Humans
  • Adult


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