Refractive evaluation in children with growth defect

Fulvio Parentin, Giorgio Tonini, Paolo Perissutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. Growth hormone (GH) is considered essential for postnatal somatic growth, exerting its effects on growth by hepatic production of IGF-I. IGF and other growth factors interact with the developing ocular tissues by influencing the synthesis of the extracellular matrix of the sclera and by inducing angiogenesis. The association between optic nerve hypoplasia, reduced retinal vascularization and GH deficiency (GHD) is well known. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the possible influence of congenital GHD on the refraction and on the emmetropization process. Methods. Eighty children with congenital GHD had a thorough ophthalmologic examination, including cycloplegic refraction and axial length measurement. As a control group we enrolled 483 healthy children. Results. In accordance with other epidemiological studies, the control group showed a slightly myopic mean defect; on the contrary, in GHD group we found a hyperopic defect, related to a shorter axial length, with statistically significant differences. Conclusions. Our findings emphasise the possible role of growth hormone in ocular development, and its interaction with the physiological process of emmetropization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Emmetropization
  • Growth defect
  • Growth hormone
  • Refraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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