PURPOSE: To assess the mean thickness and surface area of human sclera. METHODS: Fifty-five formalin-fixed eye bank eyes were hemisected from anterior to posterior. Cross-sectional slides were taken to include a millimeter scale ruler in each photograph. Slide photographs were projected and the scleral silhouette sketched. Mean scleral thickness measurements with standard deviation were obtained. Twenty-five human eye bank eyes were used to determine total scleral surface area by either a computerized tracing method (17 globes) or volumetric calculations (eight globes) using fluid displacement. RESULTS: Mean scleral thickness ± SD was 0.53 ± 0.14 mm at the corneoscleral limbus, significantly decreasing to 0.39 ± 0.17 mm near the equator, and increasing to 0.9 to 1.0 mm near the optic nerve. The mean total scleral surface area by surface area computerized tracings was 16.3 ± 1.8 cm2 and, by the volume displacement method, was 17.0 ± 1.5 cm2. CONCLUSIONS: Scleral thickness and surface area measurements from cadaver eyes are important for ophthalmic surgeons and have implications for transscleral diffusion.
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