Background: To retrospectively compare axial elongation in children with different degrees of myopia wearing spectacles and undergoing ortho-k treatment.
Methods: The medical records of 128 patients who were fitted with spectacles or orthokeratology (ortho-k) lenses in our clinic between 2008 and 2009 were reviewed. Ortho-k group comprised 65 subjects and 63 subjects wearing spectacles were included in the control group. Subjects were also divided into low-myopia, moderate-myopia and high-myopia groups, based on the basic spherical equivalent refractive error. Axial length periodically measured over 2-year of lens wear and changes in axial length were compared between treatment groups and between subgroups with different degrees of myopia.
Results: The control group exhibited more changes in axial length than the ortho-k group at both 12 months (0.39 ± 0.21 mm vs 0.16 ± 0.17 mm, p <0.001) and 24 months (0.70 ± 0.35 mm vs 0.34 ± 0.29 mm, p <0.001). Axial length elongation was estimated to be slower by about 51% in the ortho-k group. Similar results were found for the subgroups (49%, 59% and 46% reductions, respectively). In the group with low and moderate myopia, the annual increases in axial length were significantly different between the ortho-k and control groups during both the first ( Low myopia: 0.19 ± 0.17 mm vs 0.40 ± 0.18 mm, p = 0.001; Moderate myopia: 0.14 ± 0.18 mm vs 0.45 ± 0.22 mm, p <0.001) and second ( Low myopia: 0.18 ± 0.14 mm vs 0.32 ± 0.19 mm, p = 0.012; Moderate myopia: 0.18 ± 0.16 mm vs 0.34 ± 0.30 mm, p = 0.030) years. In the high myopia groups, significant differences were only found between the ortho-k and control groups during the first year (0.16 ± 0.18 mm vs 0.34 ± 0.22 mm, p = 0.004). The 2-year axial elongation was significantly associated with initial age (p <0.001) and treatment (p <0.001), but not with gender, initial refractive error, initial axial length, initial corneal curvature.
Conclusions: This 2-year study indicates that ortho-k contact lens wear is effective for reducing myopia progression in children with low, moderate and high myopia.