Purpose: To evaluate the hypothesis that macular thickness correlates with the diagnosis of glaucoma.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Participants: We studied 367 subjects (534 eyes), including 166 eyes of 109 normal subjects, 83 eyes of 58 glaucoma suspects, 196 eyes of 132 early glaucoma patients, and 89 eyes of 68 advanced glaucoma patients.
Methods: We used optical coherence tomography (OCT) to measure macular and nerve fiber layer (NFL) thickness and to analyze their correlation with each other and with glaucoma status. We used both the commercial and prototype OCT units and evaluated correspondence between measurements performed on the same eyes on the same days.
Main outcome measure: Macular and NFL thickness as measured by OCT.
Results: All NFL parameters both in prototype and commercial OCT units were statistically significantly different comparing normal subjects and either early or advanced glaucoma (P < 0.001). Inner ring, outer ring, and mean macular thickness both in prototype and commercial OCT devices were found to be significantly different between normal subjects and advanced glaucomatous eyes (P < 0.001). The outer ring was the only macular parameter that could significantly differentiate between normal and early glaucoma with either the prototype or commercial OCT unit (P = 0.003, P = 0.008, respectively). The area under the receiver operator characteristic (AROC) curves comparing mean NFL thickness between normal and advanced glaucomatous eyes was 1.00 for both the prototype and commercial OCT devices for eyes scanned on both machines on the same day. The AROC comparing mean macular thickness in normal and advanced glaucomatous eyes scanned on both machines on the same day was 0.88 for the prototype OCT device and 0.80 for the commercial OCT.
Conclusions: Both macular and NFL thickness as measured by OCT showed statistically significant correlations with glaucoma, although NFL thickness showed a stronger association than macular thickness. There was good correspondence between findings using both the prototype and commercial OCT units. Macular and NFL thickness measurements made with OCT may have usefulness in the clinical assessment of glaucoma.