Purpose: To assess the mean thickness and surface area of human sclera.
Methods: Fifty-five formalin-fixed eye bank eyes were hemisected from anterior to posterior. Cross-sectional slides were taken to include a millimeter scale ruler in each photograph. Slide photographs were projected and the scleral silhouette sketched. Mean scleral thickness measurements with standard deviation were obtained. Twenty-five human eye bank eyes were used to determine total scleral surface area by either a computerized tracing method (17 globes) or volumetric calculations (eight globes) using fluid displacement.
Results: Mean scleral thickness +/- SD was 0.53 +/- 0.14 mm at the corneoscleral limbus, significantly decreasing to 0.39 +/- 0.17 mm near the equator, and increasing to 0.9 to 1.0 mm near the optic nerve. The mean total scleral surface area by surface area computerized tracings was 16.3 +/- 1.8 cm2 and, by the volume displacement method, was 17.0 +/- 1.5 cm2.
Conclusions: Scleral thickness and surface area measurements from cadaver eyes are important for ophthalmic surgeons and have implications for transscleral diffusion.