Effect of scleral shortening on axial length

Natsushi Nakagawa, Jean Marie Parel, Timothy G. Murray, Kenji Oshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Partial thickness sclerectomy is the most commonly employed scleral shortening technique used in conjunction with pars plana vitrectomy in the repair of myopia-associated macular holes in patients with staphyloma. Recently, scleral shortening induced through scleral invagination has been advocated as an adjunct in retinal translocation surgery. Objective: To determine whether a correlation exists between the amount of sclera infolding and the posttreatment reduction in axial length (AL) as a result of lamellar scleral resectioning or full-thickness scleral invagination. Methods: Three groups of 10 eyes each underwent lamellar scleral resection with dissection of 6, 8, and 10 mm in height, and 1 group of 10 eyes underwent a 10-mm invagination. Presurgical and postsurgical external AL of globes with stabilized intraocular pressure was measured to ±0.022-mm precision. Results: Average (±SD) AL shortening following lamellar resections for 6-, 8-, and 10-mm groups were 1.50±0.24, 2.10±0.13, and 2.65±0.24 mm, respectively, and 2.50±0.23 mm for the 10-mm invagination group. Differences in AL before and after scleral shortening were found to be significantly different between dissections of different heights (P<.05), and not significantly different between the 10-mm resection and invagination groups (P>.17). The AL of each group was shortened by approximately 25% of the resection-invagination height. The relation was quasilinear. Conclusions: Lamellar scleral resection and nonresected scleral invagination reduce the ocular AL. The extent of the reduction significantly correlates to the amount of removed or invaginated sclera. Clinical Relevance: Surgical shortening of the sclera is useful in the management of several retinal disorders, but causes significant changes in AL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-968
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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