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Aging of the human lens: changes in lens shape at zero-diopter accommodation

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Abstract

Scheimpflug photographs of the zero-diopter-accommodated anterior segments of 100 human subjects, aged 18 to 70 yr and evenly spaced over this range, were digitized and analyzed to characterize lens and lens nucleus shape as a function of age by the Hough transform and other image analysis methods. Anterior and posterior lens surface curves exhibit a decrease in radius of curvature with increasing age, in qualitative but not quantitative agreement with the earlier observations of Brown [Exp. Eye Res. 19, 175 (1974)]. In contrast, the shape of the lens nuclear boundaries changes little with age. Overall lens volume at zero diopters increases with age, but the volume of the lens nucleus remains unchanged. The lens center of mass moves anteriorly with increasing age, as does the central clear region of the lens. Although these data sets were found to be more variable than those of Brown, the complementary variability of other factors, such as anterior chamber depth, for each subject leads to a very high statistical correlation between lens shape and lens location relative to the cornea. This supports the finding of previous work that image formation on the retina for a given individual results from the multifactorial balancing of related factors.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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