Developmental Changes of Normal Pupil Size and Reactivity in Children

J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. May-Jun 2015;52(3):147-51. doi: 10.3928/01913913-20150317-11.


Purpose: The goal of this study was to establish normative values for measurements of quantitative pupillometry in children.

Methods: Quantitative pupillometry measurements were obtained from children between 1 and 18 years of age being seen for either a well child check or other outpatient appointment.

Results: Maximum and minimum pupil size increased slightly with age; however, the correlation was weak (r = 0.29 and 0.19, respectively). Similarly weak correlations with age also were observed for maximum constriction velocity (r = -0.29) and dilation velocity (r = 0.27). Maximum (5.56 vs. 4.97 mm) and minimum (3.74 vs. 3.40 mm) pupil sizes were significantly larger in whites than in African Americans.

Conclusions: Pupil size and reactivity show little correlation with age and are therefore suitable for further exploration in using pupillometry as a biomarker across the pediatric age range. Differences in race should be taken into consideration when pupillometry is used in mixed populations.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans
  • Aging / physiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethnic Groups
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iris / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Pupil / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Reflex, Pupillary / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires