To compare axial elongation between myopic orthokeratology (OK) contact lens and spectacle wearers, and to investigate the impact of pupil diameter on axial growth in myopic children after OK treatment.
Fifty-two Chinese children aged 9 to 14 years were enrolled in this study, 27 for the OK group and 25 for the single vision spectacle lenses (SVL) group. Subjects in each group were further divided into two subcategories according to their baseline scotopic pupil diameters. Axial length (AL) was measured at baseline and at every 6-month visit through to 24 months. Linear mixed-effect model was used to determine myopia progression (AL changes from baseline). In this model, repeated visits were taken as within-subject effect, and treatment group as well as pupil size were taken as between-subject effects. The interaction of treatment group*pupil size was analyzed. Relationships between axial growth at 24 months and baseline pupil area were analyzed in both lens groups.
Twenty-five subjects in the OK group and 22 subjects in the SVL group completed the 24-month study. AL increased significantly throughout the observed 24-month period (F = 32.09, p < 0.001). Pupil size significantly affected axial growth (F = 15.95, p < 0.001) and different treatment modalities (OK vs. SVL) interacted with the effect of pupil size on axial growth (F = 24.66, p < 0.001). To be more specific, axial growth was significantly slower in subjects with above average pupil sizes than those with below average pupil sizes in the OK group (F = 25.04, p < 0.001). Contrarily, pupil size did not affect axial growth in the SVL group (F = 0.46, p = 0.50). Baseline scotopic pupil area was significantly correlated to axial growth in the OK group (r2 = 0.405, p < 0.001) but not in the SVL group (r2 = 0.171, p = 0.056).
Large pupil diameters facilitate the effect of OK to slow axial growth in myopia. We speculate that this is because of enhancement of the myopic shift in the peripheral retina.