Atropine 0.01% treatment may be associated with clinically short and subtle effects on the posterior cornea and anterior crystalline lens surfaces, according to a study published in Acta Ophthalmologica.
Researchers included children with myopia (age range, 6-14 years) in the investigation and randomly assigned them to atropine 0.01% treatment plus single vision lens wear (n=69) or treatment with single vision lenses (control group; n=50). The team obtained ocular biometric measurements and simulated the radii of the corneal and lenticular curvature using a customized program to examine morphological changes in the cornea and crystalline lens following atropine 0.01% treatment.
Following the atropine intervention, the posterior corneal surface underwent significant steepening (−0.05 vs 0.07 mm) at 6 months (P =.003) and at 6 months (−0.03 vs 0.07) compared with no atropine treatment (P =.005). The anterior lenticular surface flattened significantly within 3-6 months among eyes undergoing atropine 0.01% treatment (0.20 mm).
Among control group participants, the posterior corneal surface and anterior lenticular surface gradually flattened (0.07 and 0.32 mm, respectively) at 9 months. Corneal refractive power differences between the 2 groups were significant (P =.001) at the 9-month study conclusion, but these differences were not significant for the crystalline lens (P =.161), the report shows.
“It is conceivable that minor changes in optical components such as the cornea and lens in the atropine-treated eyes were the result of stable refractive error development, compared with the control eyes,” according to the researchers. “In other words, the interplay between eye growth and optical power remained balanced in atropine-treated eyes . . . in which the cornea and lens become flatter owing to the increased eye size and equatorial stretch.”
Study limitations include a small sample size and failure to perform cycloplegia prior to ocular biometry measurements.
Wang Y, Liu F, Zhu X, et.al Effects on radius of curvature and refractive power of the cornea and crystalline lens by atropine 0.01% eye drops. Acta Ophthalmol. Published online May 4, 2023. doi:10.1111/aos.15679