Myopia: structural and functional correlates

  • Manbir K. Nagra

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Ocular dimensions are widely recognised as key variants of refractive error. Previously, accurate depiction of eye shape in vivo was largely restricted by limitations in the imaging techniques available. This thesis describes unique applications of the recently introduced 3-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) approach to evaluate human eye shape in a group of young adult subjects (n=76) with a range of ametropia (MSE= -19.76 to +4.38D). Specific MRI derived parameters of ocular shape are then correlated with measures of visual function. Key findings include the significant homogeneity of ocular volume in the anterior eye for a range of refractive errors, whilst significant volume changes occur in the posterior eye as a function of ametropia. Anterior vs. posterior eye differences have also been shown through evaluations of equivalent spherical radius; the posterior 25% cap of the eye was shown to be relatively steeper in myopes compared to emmetropes. Further analyses showed differences in retinal quadrant profiles; assessments of the maximum distance from the retinal surface to the presumed visual axes showed exaggerated growth of the temporal quadrant in myopic eyes. Comparisons of retinal contour values derived from transformation of peripheral refraction data were made with MRI; flatter retinal curvature values were noted when using the MRI technique. A distinctive feature of this work is the evaluation of the relationship between ocular structure and visual function. Multiple aspects of visual function were evaluated through several vehicles: multifocal electroretinogram testing, visual field sensitivity testing, and the use of psychophysical methods to determine ganglion cell density. The results show that many quadrantic structural and functional variations exist. In general, the data could not demonstrate a significant correlation between visual function and associated measures of ocular conformation either within or between myopic and emmetropic groups.
Date of AwardAug 2010
Original languageEnglish


  • ocular shape
  • peripheral refraction
  • visual fields
  • multifocal electroretinography
  • ganglion cell density

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