As myopia prevalence continues to rise, a new study in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye suggests a combined treatment of 0.01% atropine and orthokeratology may be an effective treatment for childhood myopia control.

The study enrolled 154 children between the ages of eight and 12 who had a spherical equivalent of -1D to -6D. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive 0.01% atropine and ortho-K (n=39), 0.01 % atropine and single vision glasses (n=42), ortho-K and placebo (n=36) or placebo and single vision glasses (control, n=37). The researchers assessed subfoveal choroidal thickness with OCT and measured ocular parameters, including axial length.

They found subfoveal choroidal thickness significantly increased in the atropine and ortho-K (14.12 ± 12.88μm), ortho-K and placebo (9.43 ± 9.14μm) and atropine (5.49 ± 9.38μm) groups, while it significantly decreased in the control group (-4.81 ± 9.93μm).

Additionally, the one-month change in subfoveal choroidal thickness was significantly different between the control and treatment groups, and the change was larger in the atropine and ortho-K group compared with patients prescribed atropine alone.

Changes in the atropine plus ortho-K group and the ortho-K with placebo group were not significantly different, the investigators noted.

Li Z, Hu Y, Cui D, et al. Short-term effects of atropine combined with orthokeratology (ACO) on choroidal thickness. Contact Lens & Anterior Eye. June 30, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].