The Effect of Phenylephrine on the Ciliary Muscle and Accommodation


Purpose: To objectively measure changes in the human ciliary muscle dimensions in vivo following instillation of topical phenylephrine, a mydriatic and vasodilating agent. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 25 healthy young adults was conducted. Measurements of pupil size, accommodation, and ciliary muscle thickness were made both before and 30 minutes after instillation of 1% proparacaine and 2.5% phenylephrine. Accommodation was measured three ways: subjectively using a push-up technique and Royal Air Force (RAF) rule, and objectively using both the Grand Seiko autorefractor and PowerRefractor. Images of the temporal ciliary muscle were made using the Visante Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT). Ciliary muscle images were objectively analyzed using a computer-based segmentation technique. Results: Amplitude of accommodation with the push-up test was reduced by about 1D with phenylephrine (p < 0.001). Phenylephrine did not change the accommodative response to a 4-D Badal target as measured by either autorefraction or photorefraction (p > 0.30). There was statistically significant thickening of the anterior region and thinning of the posterior region of the ciliary muscle with accommodation (p < 0.001, all locations). Phenylephrine did not affect either baseline ciliary muscle thickness, or the accommodative contraction of the muscle (p > 0.09). Conclusions: Low-dose phenylephrine does not affect ciliary muscle dimensions, ciliary muscle contractility, or accommodative response to a 4 D near target.



Optical coherence tomography, Anterior segment imaging, Ciliary muscle, Accommodation, Phenylephrine, Presbyopia


Copyright 2012 Optometry and Vision Science. Recommended citation: Richdale, Kathryn, Melissa D. Bailey, Loraine T. Sinnott, Chiu-Yen Kao, Karla Zadnik, and Mark A. Bullimore. "The effect of phenylephrine on the ciliary muscle and accommodation." Optometry and vision science: official publication of the American Academy of Optometry 89, no. 10 (2012): 1507. DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e318269c8d0. URL: Reproduced in accordance with licensing terms and with the author’s permission.