To compare the efficacies of 0.02% atropine eye drops and orthokeratology to control axial length (AL) elongation in children with myopia.
In this historical control study, 247 children with myopia whose administration of 0.02% atropine (n=142) or underwent orthokeratology from an earlier study (n=105, control group) were enrolled. Data on AL and other baseline parameters were recorded at baseline and after 1 and 2 years of treatment.
The mean changes in AL in the first and second years of treatment were 0.30±0.21 and 0.28±0.20 mm, respectively, in the 0.02% atropine group and 0.16±0.20 and 0.20±0.16 mm, respectively, in the orthokeratology group. Axial length elongations after 2 years of treatment were 0.58±0.35 and 0.36±0.30 mm (P=0.007) in the 0.02% atropine and orthokeratology groups, respectively. Multivariate regression analyses showed that the AL elongation was significantly faster in the 0.02% atropine group than in the orthokeratology group (β=0.18, P=0.009). In multivariate regression analyses, younger age and shorter baseline AL were associated with a rapid AL elongation in the 0.02% atropine group (βage=−0.04, P=0.01; βAL=−0.17, P=0.03), while younger age, lower baseline spherical equivalent refractive error (SER), and shorter baseline AL were associated with a greater increase in AL in the orthokeratology group (βage=−0.03, P=0.04; βSER=0.06, P=0.03; βAL=−0.11, P=0.009). Faster AL elongation was found in the 0.02% atropine group compared with the orthokeratology group at higher baseline SER (P=0.04, interaction test).
Within the limits of this study design, orthokeratology seems to be a better method for controlling AL elongation compared with administration of 0.02% atropine in children with higher myopia over a treatment period of 2 years.