Macular and retinal nerve fiber layer analysis of normal and glaucomatous eyes in children using optical coherence tomography

Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Mar;139(3):509-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2004.10.047.


Purpose: To evaluate macular and nerve fiber layer (NFL) thickness in normal and glaucomatous eyes of children 3 to 17 years old using optical coherence tomography (OCT-3).

Design: Observational cross-sectional study.

Methods: One hundred fifty-six eyes of 79 patients were enrolled in this institutional study. Fifty-two eyes (33.3%) met criteria for glaucoma and 104 (66.7%) were normal. There were 44 female (55.6%) and 35 male (44.3%) subjects whose ages ranged from 3 to 17 years old (mean 9.5 years, standard deviation 3.5 years, median 9 years). The OCT-3 (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, California) was used to obtain a fast macular thickness map as well as a fast retinal NFL map of each eye. Data from specific locations around the macula, as well as total macular volume, was analyzed. Similarly, the retinal NFL scan reports average NFL thickness from specific locations around the optic nerve. Data from the superior temporal and inferior temporal sections was analyzed.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference in macular thickness and NFL thickness when normal eyes were compared against those with glaucoma, in all quadrants studied (all P values <or=.001). Mean macular volume was 7.01 +/- 0.42 mm(3) vs 6.57 +/- 0.85 mm(3) for normal vs glaucomatous eyes, respectively (P < .001).

Conclusions: OCT may prove valuable in the early diagnosis of glaucoma. We have found a difference between normal and glaucomatous eyes in children, similar to that reported in adult studies. Further investigation of OCT testing in children should be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / congenital
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Macula Lutea / pathology*
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*