Cerebrospinal fluid pressure is decreased in primary open-angle glaucoma

Ophthalmology. 2008 May;115(5):763-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.01.013.


Purpose: To compare cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) with that in nonglaucomatous patients.

Design: Case-control study.

Participants: Thirty-one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-six subjects underwent lumbar puncture (LP) between 1996 and 2007 at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Of these, 28 patients who had POAG and 49 patients who did not have POAG were analyzed.

Methods: Retrospective review of medical records. Comparison of the 2 groups and factors associated with CSF pressure were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses.

Main outcome measures: Demographics (age and gender), medical history, medication use, indication for LP, intraocular pressure (IOP), optic disc cup-to-disc ratio, visual field assessment, and CSF pressure.

Results: The mean CSF pressure +/- standard deviation was 13.0+/-4.2 mmHg in nonglaucoma patients and 9.2+/-2.9 mmHg in POAG patients (P<0.00005). The CSF pressure was lower in POAG patients regardless of indication for LP or age. Linear regression analysis showed that cup-to-disc ratio correlated independently with IOP (P<0.0001), CSF pressure (P<0.0001), and the translaminar pressure difference (P<0.0001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that larger cup-to-disc ratio (P<0.0001) was associated with lower CSF pressure.

Conclusions: Cerebrospinal fluid pressure is significantly lower in POAG patients compared with that in nonglaucomatous controls. These data support the notion that CSF pressure may play an important contributory role in the pathogenesis of POAG.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure / physiology*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / etiology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Male
  • Optic Disk / pathology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Puncture
  • Visual Fields / physiology