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Title: Aerobic exercise reduces intraocular pressure and expands Schlemm′s canal dimensions in healthy and primary open-angle glaucoma eyes
Authors: Yuan, Y
Lin, TPH
Gao, K
Zhou, R
Radke, NV
Lam, DSC 
Zhang, X
Issue Date: May-2021
Source: Indian journal of ophthalmology, May 2021, v. 69, no. 5, p. 1127-1142
Abstract: Purpose: Aerobic exercise (AE) has been reported to decrease intraocular pressure (IOP) in healthy subjects and there are concomitant morphological changes in the anterior segment of the eye including the Schlemm's canal (SC). However, its effects on IOP and SC morphology in glaucoma patients had not been studied before. We aim to investigate the effect of AE on the IOP and SC dimension in both healthy and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) eyes.
Methods: The area and diameter of SC and IOP were measured in 35 primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients (59 eyes) and 36 healthy subjects (72 eyes) before and after performing moderate intensity of AE by running on a treadmill for 30 min. SC was imaged by swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) for evaluation.
Results: In comparison with baseline values, mean IOP decreased significantly following AE in both POAG and healthy eyes (both P < 0.001), in which POAG eyes showed a greater degree of reduction compared to healthy eyes (P = 0.002). In comparison with baseline values, in both POAG and healthy eyes, the average cross-sectional area (POAG: 80.48 +/-59.54 vs. 99.20 +/-54.87 pixels; healthy: 151.84 +/-52.76 vs. 198.23 +/-53.70 pixels; both P < 0.001) and diameter (POAG: 3.73 +/-1.69 vs. 4.33 +/-1.74 pixels; healthy: 5.61 +/-1.02 vs. 6.47 +/-1.20 pixels; both P < 0.001) of SC significantly increased after AE. In POAG, both treated and untreated with IOP-lowering medications, a significant reduction in mean IOP and increase in SC dimensions following AE were observed (all P < 0.05), and there were no significant differences of such measurements between the two subgroups (all P > 0.05).
Conclusion: AE-induced reduction in IOP and an increase in SC dimensions in POAG eyes as in healthy eyes. Further studies to evaluate the long-term effect of AE on IOP control and SC morphology in POAG seem warranted.
Keywords: Aerobic exercise
Intraocular pressure
Primary open-angle glaucoma
Schlemm's canal
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer - Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Journal: Indian journal of ophthalmology 
ISSN: 0301-4738
EISSN: 1998-3689
DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2858_20
Rights: © 2020 Indian Journal of Ophthalmology
This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‑NonCommercial‑ShareAlike 4.0 License (, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non‑commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
The following publication Yuan, Y., Lin, T. P., Gao, K., Zhou, R., Radke, N. V., Lam, D. S., & Zhang, X. (2021). Aerobic exercise reduces intraocular pressure and expands Schlemm’s canal dimensions in healthy and primary open-angle glaucoma eyes. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, 69(5), 1127 is available at
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