Central corneal thickness in children with growth hormone deficiency

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Purpose: To evaluate central corneal thickness (CCT), intraocular pressure (IOP) and eye refraction in patients with congenital growth hormone (GH) deficiency. Methods: Retrospective case series. Forty-five patients with growth defect treated with recombinant GH and 45 healthy children underwent ophthalmological examination, including CCT measurements, applanation tonometry and cycloplaegic refraction. Results: The average CCT in the GH deficiency group was 570.6 μm [standard deviation (SD) 37.4]. In the control group, it was 546.0 (SD 24.9). The average IOP in the GH deficiency group was 18.2 mmHg (SD 3.4). In the control group, it was 14.6 (SD 2.0). The mean refractive error (spherical equivalent) in the GH deficiency group was 0.59 D (SD 1.9). In the control group, it was 0.11 (SD 2.1). Conclusion: GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 are involved in ocular growth by influencing the synthesis of the extracellular matrix of the sclera. Children with congenital GH deficiency or insensitivity have a mean hyperopic defect related to a shorter axial length. A number of studies have demonstrated that CCT in newborns is significantly greater than in adults; a decrease in CCT is closely correlated with an increase in corneal diameter. This finding suggests that the growth of the eye, with possible remodelling and stretching of collagen fibres, may play an important role in the reduction of corneal thickness in the first years of life. Therefore, we conclude that a greater CCT can represent a sign of a delayed growth of the eye in patients with GH deficiency. Finally, our study confirms the influence of corneal thickness on IOP measures, and the prevalence of hyperopia among children with growth defect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-694
Number of pages3
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • corneal thickness
  • growth hormone deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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