Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 3, P246-250, March 2007

Age-related changes in the normal sagittal relationship between globe and orbit

Published:September 05, 2006DOI:



      To establish the pattern of change in globe protrusion with advancing age. The findings contribute to our understanding of orbital ageing, and are useful in the longitudinal assessment of patients with orbital disease, craniofacial abnormalities and trauma.


      Ocular protrusion from the lateral orbital rim to the corneal apex was measured in 653 Caucasians aged 21–80 years. Healthy subjects only were included in the study excluding those with ocular or orbital diseases. Measurements were taken using a single instrument and observer. Data were analysed for both sexes and each eye separately.


      The mean exophthalmometry reading in both sexes (318 female and 335 male) was 19±2 mm. Ninety-eight percent of readings between the two eyes were within 1 mm of each other and no subject had greater than 2 mm of asymmetry. In all groups there was a negative linear correlation between ocular protrusion and age. This correlation was found to be highly statistically significant in all groups (r=0.56–0.65, p<0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference between change in ocular protrusion with age between the left and right eye for females or males.
      This study demonstrates a strong association between ocular protrusion and age in a Caucasian population. This association is an almost linear reduction in ocular protrusion with increasing age between the ages of 31 and 80. Asymmetry in ocular protrusion between the two eyes does not develop with increasing age.


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