Peripapillary Hyperreflective Ovoid Mass-like Structures (PHOMS) in Children: The Copenhagen Child Cohort 2000 Eye Study

Christopher Maximilian Behrens, Lasse Malmqvist, Morten Jørgensen, Patrick A Sibony, Inger Christine Munch, Anne Mette Skovgaard, Michael Larsen, Steffen Hamann*

*Corresponding author for this work


PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of peripapillary hyperreflective ovoid mass-like structures (PHOMS) in a population-based child cohort and to study their association with other optic nerve head features and myopia.

DESIGN: Observational, population-based cohort study of 1,407 children aged 11-12 years.

METHODS: Optical coherence tomography scans of optic nerve heads were graded for PHOMS, disc tilt, prelaminar hyperreflective lines and scleral canal diameter and investigated for associated prenatal and ocular parameters. Children with optic disc drusen or optic disc edema were excluded.

RESULTS: PHOMS were found in 8.9% of children. The location of PHOMS was predominantly in the superonasal section of the optic disc. Myopia and optic nerve head tilt were more common in children with PHOMS than in children without PHOMS (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Prelaminar hyperreflective lines were found in 17.9% of children with PHOMS compared to 7.3% of children without PHOMS (p < 0.001). Prelaminar hyperreflective lines with and without PHOMS were associated with a shorter axial length of the eye (p < 0.001). There were no prenatal factors associated with PHOMS. Prelaminar hyperreflective lines were associated with higher birth weight and continued maternal smoking during pregnancy (p = 0.01 and p = 0.02, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: PHOMS had a prevalence of 8.9% in healthy children without optic disc drusen or optic disc edema and was associated with increasing myopic refraction and the presence of a tilted optic nerve head and prelaminar hyperreflective lines. Given the high prevalence of PHOMS, they should not unreservedly be taken as evidence of optic neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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