Genetic covariance between central corneal thickness and anterior chamber volume: a Hungarian twin study

Twin Res Hum Genet. 2014 Oct;17(5):397-404. doi: 10.1017/thg.2014.54.


Background: Few, and inconsistent, studies have showed high heritability of some parameters of the anterior segment of the eye; however, no heritability of anterior chamber volume (ACV) has been reported, and no study has been performed to investigate the correlation between the ACV and central corneal thickness (CCT).

Methods: Anterior segment measurements (Pentacam, Oculus) were obtained from 220 eyes of 110 adult Hungarian twins (41 monozygotic and 14 same-sex dizygotic pairs; 80% women; age 48.6 ± 15.5 years) obtained from the Hungarian Twin Registry.

Results: Age- and sex-adjusted heritability of ACV was 85% (bootstrapped 95% confidence interval; CI: 69% to 93%), and 88% for CCT (CI: 79% to 95%). Common environmental effects had no influence, and unshared environmental factors were responsible for 12% and 15% of the variance, respectively. The correlation between ACV and CCT was negative and significant (r ph = -0.35, p < .05), and genetic factors accounted for the covariance significantly (0.934; CI: 0.418, 1.061) based on the bivariate Cholesky decomposition model.

Conclusion: These findings support the high heritability of ACV and central corneal thickness, and a strong genetic covariance between them, which underscores the importance of identification of the specific genetic factors and the family risk-based screening of disorders related to these variables, such as open-angle and also angle closure glaucoma and corneal endothelial alterations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Chamber / pathology*
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure* / genetics
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure* / pathology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle* / genetics
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size / genetics
  • Twins, Dizygotic / genetics*
  • Twins, Monozygotic / genetics*