Corneal biomechanics are not exclusively compromised in high myopia

Fabian Yii*, Niall Strang, Miguel O. Bernabeu, Baljean Dhillon, Tom MacGillivray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Introduction: Research assuming linearity has concluded that corneal biomechanics are compromised in high myopia. We investigated whether this assumption was appropriate and re-examined these associations across different levels of myopia. 

Myopic (spherical equivalent refraction, SER ≤ −0.50 D) eyes of 10,488 adults aged 40–69 years without any history of systemic and ocular conditions were identified in the UK Biobank. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was employed to test the linear association between corneal hysteresis (CH) or corneal resistance factor (CRF), separately, and SER while controlling for age, sex, corneal radius and intraocular pressure. Quantile regression (QR) was used to test the same set of associations across 49 equally spaced conditional quantiles of SER.

Results: In OLS regression, each standard deviation (SD) decrease in CH and CRF was associated with 0.08 D (95% CI: 0.04–0.12; p < 0.001) and 0.10 D (95% CI: 0.04–0.15; p < 0.001) higher myopia, respectively. However, residual analysis indicated that the linearity assumption was violated. QR revealed no evidence of a significant association between CH/CRF and SER in low myopia, but a significant (p < 0.05) positive association became evident from −2.78 D (0.06 and 0.08 D higher myopia per SD decrease in CH and CRF). The magnitude of association increased exponentially with increasing myopia: in the −5.03 D quantile, every SD decrease in CH and CRF was associated with 0.17 D (95% CI: 0.08–0.25; p < 0.001) and 0.21 D (95% CI: 0.10–0.31; p < 0.001) higher myopia. In the −8.63 D quantile, this further increased to 0.54 D (95% CI: 0.33–0.76; p < 0.001) and 0.67 D (95% CI: 0.41–0.93; p < 0.001) higher myopia per SD decrease in CH and CRF.

Conclusions: Corneal biomechanics appeared compromised from around −3.00 D. These changes were observed to be exponential with increasing myopia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Early online date2 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • corneal biomechanics
  • corneal hysteresis
  • corneal resistance factor
  • myopia


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