Macular and nerve fiber layer thickness in amblyopia: the Sydney childhood eye study

Huynh, Son C., Samarawickrama, Chameen, Wang, Xiu Ying, Rochtchina, Elena, Wong, Tien Y., Gole, Glen A., Rose, Kathryn A. and Mitchell, Paul (2009) Macular and nerve fiber layer thickness in amblyopia: the Sydney childhood eye study. Ophthalmology, 116 9: 1604-1609. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.03.013

Author Huynh, Son C.
Samarawickrama, Chameen
Wang, Xiu Ying
Rochtchina, Elena
Wong, Tien Y.
Gole, Glen A.
Rose, Kathryn A.
Mitchell, Paul
Title Macular and nerve fiber layer thickness in amblyopia: the Sydney childhood eye study
Journal name Ophthalmology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0161-6420
Publication date 2009-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.03.013
Open Access Status
Volume 116
Issue 9
Start page 1604
End page 1609
Total pages 6
Place of publication Philadelphia, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To examine macular and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in amblyopia.

Population-based cross-sectional study.

Of 4118 children examined in the Sydney Childhood Eye Study (incorporating the Sydney Myopia Study) from 34 randomly selected primary schools and 21 secondary schools from 2003 to 2005, 3529 (85.7%) were included in this analysis. The median age of the 2 samples was 6 years (n = 1395) and 12 years (n = 2134), respectively.

A detailed eye examination was conducted on all children, including determination of best-corrected visual acuity (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR]), autorefraction (RK-F1 autorefractor, Canon, Tokyo, Japan) after cyclopentolate (1%), cover testing to identify strabismus, and optical coherence tomography (StratusOCT, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA) through dilated pupils to obtain macula and peripapillary RNFL thickness. Amblyopia was defined as best visual acuity <0.3 logMAR units not explained by any obvious underlying eye or visual pathway abnormalities. Anisometropia was defined as an interocular difference of at least 1.0 diopter of the spherical equivalent refraction.

Main Outcome Measures
Macular and peripapillary RNFL thickness.


Amblyopic eyes had slightly greater foveal minimum thickness than the normal fellow eye (by 5.0 μm; 95% confidence interval 0.1–9.9) and right eyes of non-amblyopic children (by ∼10 μm), both P<0.05. This was more pronounced in 6-year-old children (6.9 μm) than 12-year-old children (4.2 μm). Amblyopic eyes also had slightly thicker central macula (1 mm diameter region) in both comparisons, although these differences were not statistically significant. The inner macular ring (outer radius 1.5 mm) was thinner in amblyopic than normal fellow eyes. Peripapillary RNFL thickness was not significantly different between amblyopic and normal fellow eyes or normal eyes of non-amblyopic children.

In children aged predominantly 6 and 12 years, central macular thickness may be increased in eyes with amblyopia, although it is uncertain if this precedes or follows the development of amblyopia. No differences in peripapillary RNFL thickness were found when compared with normal eyes.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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