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Lower tear dopamine levels are associated with myopia in children

Poster Details

First Author: S.Shah INDIA

Co Author(s):    R. Shetty   A. Ghosh   S. Sethu   J. Matalia   N. Sharma   S. Acharya     

Abstract Details


Dopamine (DA) is one of the key neurotransmitters involved in ocular signaling pathways and refractive development. An inverse relationship between retinal dopamine levels and myopia has been implicated in several animal models. Hence, establishing this relationship in humans using a non-invasive source (tear fluid) for testing dopamine levels would be beneficial. Therefore, we quantified tear fluid dopamine levels in emmetropic and myopic children with different grades of myopia.


The study was conducted at Narayana Nethralaya Eye Hospital (a tertiary eye care center), Bangalore, India between 2016 and 2018


40 children (aged 5-18 years) were recruited in the study after obtaining written, informed consent from the parent or legal guardian. They were categorized on the basis of mean spherical equivalent (MRSE) into four study groups – emmetropes (n=10), low myopes (MRSE <-3D, n=10), moderate myopes (MRSE -3D to -6D, n=7) and high myopes (MRSE >-6D, n=13). A detailed ophthalmic evaluation consisting of visual acuity measurement on Snellen’s chart at 6 meters, slit-lamp bio-microscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy and axial length measurement (A-scan) was performed. Tears collected using Schirmer’s strips was used to measure dopamine levels by ELISA.


The mean axial length in emmetropes was 22.9±0.2mm and in myopes was 25.3±0.3mm. The mean age of emmetropic and myopic children was 11.8±1.1 years and 11.4±0.6 years, respectively. Myopic children exhibited significantly (p<0.05) lower tear dopamine levels (165±74pg/ml) compared to emmetropes (1158±650pg/ml). However, there was no significant difference between tear dopamine levels among the different myopia grades. Similarly, no significant differences were observed in the tear dopamine levels between the male and female subjects in both the emmetropic and myopic groups.


Lower levels of tear dopamine levels observed in myopic children suggests its plausible role in the development of myopia. Tear dopamine may also serve as a biomarker for prediction of progressive myopia in children.

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