Biometric gonioscopy and the effects of age, race, and sex on the anterior chamber angle.

Congdon NG, Foster PJ, Wamsley S, Gutmark J, Nolan W, Seah SK, Johnson GJ, Broman AT.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)



To utilise a novel method for making measurements in the anterior chamber in order to compare the anterior chamber angles of people of European, African, and east Asian descent aged 40 years and over.


A cross sectional study on 15 people of each sex from each decade from the 40s to the 70s, from each of three racial groups-black, white, and Chinese Singaporeans. Biometric gonioscopy (BG) utilises a slit lamp mounted reticule to make measurements from the apparent iris insertion to Schwalbe's line through a Goldmann one mirror goniolens. The main outcome measures were BG measurements of the anterior chamber angle as detailed above.


There was no significant difference in angle measurement between black, white, and Chinese races in this study. However, at younger ages people of Chinese race appeared to have deeper angles than white or black people, whereas the angles of older Chinese were significantly narrower (p = 0.004 for the difference in slope of BG by age between Chinese and both black and white people).


The failure to detect a difference in angle measurements between these groups was surprising, given the much higher prevalence of angle closure among Chinese. It appears that the overall apparent similarity of BG means between Chinese and Western populations may mask very different trends with age. The apparently more rapid decline in angle width measurements with age among Chinese may be due to the higher prevalence of cataract or "creeping angle closure." However, longitudinal inferences from cross sectional data are problematic, and this may represent a cohort phenomenon caused by the increasing prevalence of myopia in the younger Singaporean population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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