Diagnostic capability of optical coherence tomography in evaluating the degree of glaucomatous retinal nerve fiber damage.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2006; 47(5):2006-10IO
To evaluate the role and ability of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to detect differences in peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness between normal and glaucomatous eyes and also between different severities of glaucoma.
This cross-sectional observational study included 160 eyes of 160 healthy subjects and 134 eyes of 134 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Peripapillary RNFL thickness was measured on OCT using the fast RNFL thickness protocol. The RNFL thickness parameters used for evaluation included average RNFL thickness and inferior, superior, nasal, and temporal RNFL thickness. The glaucomatous eyes were subdivided into three subgroups on the basis of visual field defects and a fourth subgroup of eyes blinded by glaucoma. RNFL thickness parameters were compared among the normal eyes and the glaucoma subgroups. Correlation of global visual field indices with RNFL thickness parameters was also performed.
The average RNFL in control subjects, early glaucoma, moderate glaucoma, severe glaucoma, and blind glaucoma were 102.30 +/- 10.34, 77.68 +/- 15.7, 66.07 +/- 15.5, 53.65 +/- 14.2, and 44.93 +/- 4.95 microm, respectively. There was a significant difference in all RNFL thickness parameters between normal and all glaucoma subgroups (P < 0.001). Average and inferior RNFL thicknesses showed the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, with 0.905 and 0.862 for normal versus early glaucoma, 0.705 and 0.722 for early versus moderate glaucoma, 0.737 and 0.717 for moderate versus severe glaucoma, and 0.635 and 0.584 for severe versus blind glaucoma. Both mean deviation (MD) and corrected pattern standard deviation (CPSD) showed a significant correlation with all the RNFL thickness parameters in eyes with glaucoma (P < 0.001).
RNFL thickness measured on OCT may serve as useful adjuncts in accurately and more objectively distinguishing normal from glaucomatous eyes, even in the early stages of glaucoma and may help to differentiate various severities of glaucoma. Average and inferior RNFL thicknesses are among the most efficient parameters for distinguishing such a differentiation. RNFL thicknesses in eyes blinded by glaucoma provide an estimate of the component of the RNFL thickness, which is not related to visual function.