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Biphasic growth of orbital volume in Chinese children
  1. Nan Wei1,
  2. Hua Bi2,
  3. Bin Zhang2,
  4. Xue Li1,
  5. Fengyuan Sun1,
  6. Xuehan Qian1
  1. 1 Department of Ophthalmology, Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin, China
  2. 2 College of Optometry, Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Xuehan Qian, Department of Ophthalmology, Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, 251 Fukang Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300384, China; qianxuehan{at}


Objective The aim of this study was to map out the developmental curve of the orbital volume of Chinese children aged 1–15 years.

Methods CT scanning was performed on 109 children and the orbital volume, interlateral orbital rim distance (IORD), and extent of exophthalmos were measured on the CT images and plotted against age.

Results The development of the orbit structure followed a biphasic pattern. The first growth phase was before 3 years and the second growth phase was between 7 years and 12 years of age. The growth speed in the first phase was about 3 times that of the second one (first vs second phase: 2.28 cm3/year vs 0.67 cm3/year for orbital volume, 5.01 mm/year vs 1.57 mm/year for IORD, 1.29 mm/year vs 0.42 mm/year for the exophthalmos). During development, there was no significant difference between the left and right orbits. There was no significant difference between boys and girls before 12 years of age. However, after 12 years of age, boys had significantly larger orbital volumes (22.16±2.28 cm3/year vs 18.57±1.16 cm3/year, p<0.001) and a greater IORD (96.29±3.18 mm/year vs 91.00±4.54 mm/year, p<0.001) than girls.

Conclusions In Chinese children, the development of orbital volume follows a biphasic pattern and a sex difference becomes significant after the age of 12 years.

  • Anatomy
  • Orbit
  • Child health (paediatrics)
  • Imaging

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  • Contributors XQ had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design: XQ, NW and BZ. Acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data: all authors. Drafting of the manuscript: BZ and NW. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: all authors. Statistical analysis: BZ and NW.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Guardian consent obtained..

  • Ethics approval This study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Tianjin Medical University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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