Article Text

Download PDFPDF
MRI of posterior eye shape and its associations with myopia and ethnicity
  1. Laurence Shen Lim1,2,
  2. Saiko Matsumura2,
  3. Hla Myint Htoon2,
  4. James Tian3,
  5. Shin Bin Lim1,2,
  6. Sonoko Sensaki2,
  7. Christopher Chen2,
  8. Saima Hilal4,
  9. Tien Yin Wong1,2,
  10. Ching Yu Cheng2,
  11. Anthony Kuo2,3,
  12. Seang Mei Saw2,4
  1. 1Vitreo-retina, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore, Singapore
  2. 2Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore
  3. 3Ophthalmology Department, Duke Eye Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  4. 4Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Professor Seang Mei Saw, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119759, Singapore; seang_mei_saw{at}


Purpose To evaluate posterior eye shape variations across a wide refractive error range using brain MRI in a multiethnic cohort.

Methods Adult subjects in the multiethnic Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Disease study were included. Spherical equivalent (SE) was measured using subjective refraction, and axial length (AL) was measured using optical biometry. MRI was performed using a 3-Tesla whole body scanner with a 32-channel head coil. The radii and asphericity based on fitting of the posterior two-thirds of the eye (240°) were calculated. The refractive error status was categorised as myopic (SE<−0.5 D) or non-myopic (SE≥−0.5 D).

Results A total of 450 adult participants (mean age 64.2±6.5 years old) were included. Less oblate asphericity was associated with more myopic SE, longer AL and with a refractive error categorisation of myopia (p<0.001 for all). Asphericity values were less oblate in myopic compared with non-myopic eyes (p<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that Chinese subjects had less oblate eyes than Malay and Indian subjects, especially in non-myopic eyes.

Conclusions A less oblate posterior eye shape was associated with myopic eyes. Chinese eyes have less oblate shapes than Malay and Indian eyes, especially in non-myopic eyes.

  • optics and refraction
  • posterior chamber

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors All listed authors contributed significantly to the design and conduct of the study and to the preparation and revision of the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by the National Medical Research Council (grants: 0796/2003, IRG07nov013, IRG09nov014, STaR/0003/2008 and CG/SERI/2010) and the Biomedical Research Council (grants: 08/1/35/19/550 and 09/1/35/19/616).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval All study procedures were performed in accordance with the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 1989. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects. The study was approved by the centralised institutional review board of Singapore Health Services and the Domain Specific Review Board of the National Healthcare Group.

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

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon request.