Purpose. To investigate the morphology of the ciliary muscle during the act of accommodation in a population of children.
Methods. Thirty children aged 6 to 12 years were enrolled. Accommodative response was measured through habitual correction. Height was measured as a control variable. Central axial length was measured with the IOLMaster. Four images of the temporal ciliary muscle were taken with the Visante Optical Coherence Tomographer at three different stimulus levels (0, 4, and 6 D) while accommodative response was monitored concurrently with the PowerRefractor. Accommodative response monitoring was time-matched to ciliary muscle image capture, and the mean was calculated for 5 s surrounding this time point. Four cycloplegic images of the temporal ciliary muscle were also taken. Ciliary muscle thickness measurements were made at the point of maximum thickness (CMTMAX) and at 1 mm (CMT1), 2 mm (CMT2) and 3 mm (CMT3) posterior to the sclera spur.
Results. Increasing accommodative response was correlated with increases in the thickness of CMTMAX (p = <0.001) and CMT1 (p = <0.001) and decreases in the thickness of CMT3 (p = <0.001). Thicker values of CMTMAX under cycloplegic conditions were significantly correlated with values of CMTMAX (p = <0.001) and CMT1 (p = 0.001) while accommodating and approached significance in modeling CMT3 (p = 0.06). Mean axial length was correlated with the amount of thinning at CMT3 with accommodation (p = 0.002). Axial length was not significantly correlated with thickness values at CMTMAX (p = 0.7) or CMT1 (p = 0.6).
Conclusions. In a manner similar to previous adult studies, ciliary muscle thickness at CMTMAX and CMT1 increased with accommodation and CMT3 thinned with accommodation. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether CMT2 is a “fulcrum” point along the length of the ciliary muscle where the net change with accommodation is always zero or whether that point varies across subjects or with varying levels of accommodative effort.