Use baseline axial length measurements in myopic patients to predict the control of myopia with and without atropine 0.01%

Loreto V. T. Rose*, Angela M. Schulz, Stuart L. Graham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Identifying axial length growth rate as an indicator of fast progression before initiating atropine 0.01% for myopia progression in children. Method: From baseline, axial length growth over six months was measured prospectively. Subjects were then initiated on atropine 0.01% if axial length growth was greater than 0.1mm per 6 months (fast progressors), axial length and spherical equivalent change measurements recorded every six months. The rate of change was compared to the baseline pre-treatment rate. If axial length change was below the threshold, subjects received monitoring only. Results: 73 subjects were identified as fast progressors and commenced atropine 0.01%, (mean baseline refraction of OD -2.9±1.6, OS -2.9±1.8 and a mean baseline axial length OD 24.62 ± 1.00 mm, OS 24.53 ± 0.99 mm). At six months, the mean paired difference of axial length growth rate was significantly reduced by 50% of baseline (all 73 subjects, p<0.05). 53 subjects followed to 12 months, and 12 to 24 months maintained a reduced growth rate. Change in mean spherical equivalent was significantly reduced compared to pre-treatment refractive error (mean paired difference p<0.05) and at each subsequent visit. 91 children were slow progressors and remained untreated. Their axial length growth rate did not change significantly out to 24 months. Spherical equivalent changed less than -0.5D annually in this group. Conclusion: Identifying fast progressors before treatment initiation demonstrated a strong treatment effect with atropine 0.01% reducing their individual rate of myopia progression by 50%. Another large group of myopic children, slow progressors, continued without medical intervention. A baseline axial length growth rate is proposed as a guideline to identify fast progressors who are more likely to benefit from atropine 0.01%.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0254061
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7 July
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021

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