Biphasic growth of orbital volume in Chinese children

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The aim of this study was to map out the developmental curve of the orbital volume of Chinese children aged 1–15 years.


CT scanning was performed on 109 children and the orbital volume, interlateral orbital rim distance (IORD), and extent of exophthalmos were measured on the CT images and plotted against age.


The development of the orbit structure followed a biphasic pattern. The first growth phase was before 3 years and the second growth phase was between 7 years and 12 years of age. The growth speed in the first phase was about 3 times that of the second one (first vs second phase: 2.28 cm3/year vs 0.67 cm3/year for orbital volume, 5.01 mm/year vs 1.57 mm/year for IORD, 1.29 mm/year vs 0.42 mm/year for the exophthalmos). During development, there was no significant difference between the left and right orbits. There was no significant difference between boys and girls before 12 years of age. However, after 12 years of age, boys had significantly larger orbital volumes (22.16±2.28 cm3/year vs 18.57±1.16 cm3/year, p<0.001) and a greater IORD (96.29±3.18 mm/year vs 91.00±4.54 mm/year, p<0.001) than girls.


In Chinese children, the development of orbital volume follows a biphasic pattern and a sex difference becomes significant after the age of 12 years.

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