Do atropine, 0.01%, eyedrops slow the myopia progression and axial elongation when compared with a placebo group in Chinese children?
In this randomized clinical trial, atropine, 0.01%, eyedrops reduced myopia progression and axial elongation compared with placebo treatment after 1 year.
While the clinical relevance of the results cannot be determined from this trial, these results support the potential that atropine, 0.01%, eyedrops can slow myopia progression in Chinese children and warrant future studies to determine longer-term results and potential effects on slowing sight-threatening pathologic changes later in life.
Because studies have suggested that atropine might slow the progression of myopia in children, randomized clinical trials are warranted to understand this potential causal relationship.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of atropine, 0.01%, eyedrops on slowing myopia progression and axial elongation in Chinese children.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-masked study. A total of 220 children aged 6 to 12 years with myopia of −1.00 D to −6.00 D in both eyes were enrolled between April 2018 and July 2018 at Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China. Cycloplegic refraction and axial length were measured at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Adverse events were also recorded.
Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to atropine, 0.01%, or placebo groups to be administered once nightly to both eyes for 1 year.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Mean changes and percentage differences in myopia progression and axial elongation between atropine, 0.01%, or placebo groups.
Of 220 participants, 103 were girls (46.8%), and the mean (SD) age was 9.64 (1.68) years. The mean (SD) baseline refractive error and axial length were –2.58 (1.39) D and 24.59 (0.87) mm. Follow-up at 1 year included 76 children (69%) and 83 children (75%) allocated into the atropine, 0.01%, and placebo groups, respectively, when mean myopia progression was −0.49 (0.42) D and −0.76 (0.50) D in the atropine, 0.01%, and placebo groups (mean difference, 0.26 D; 95% CI, 0.12-0.41 D; P < .001), with a relative reduction of 34.2% in myopia progression. The mean (SD) axial elongation in the atropine, 0.01%, group was 0.32 (0.19) mm compared with 0.41 (0.19) mm in the placebo group (mean difference, 0.09 mm; 95% CI, 0.03-0.15 mm; P = .004), with relative reduction of 22.0% in axial elongation. Fifty-one percent and 13.2% of children progressed by at least 0.50 D and 1.00 D in the atropine, 0.01%, group, compared with 69.9% and 34.9% in the placebo group. No serious adverse events related to atropine were reported.
Conclusions and Relevance
While the clinical relevance of the results cannot be determined from this trial, these 1-year results, limited by approximately 70% follow-up, suggest that atropine, 0.01%, eyedrops can slow myopia progression and axial elongation in children and warrant future studies to determine longer-term results and potential effects on slowing sight-threatening pathologic changes later in life.
http://www.chictr.org.cn Identifier: ChiCTR-IOR-17013898
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Wei S, Li S, An W, et al. Safety and Efficacy of Low-Dose Atropine Eyedrops for the Treatment of Myopia Progression in Chinese Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;138(11):1178–1184. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.3820
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