Optical coherence tomography in the eyes of normal children

Arch Ophthalmol. 2009 Jan;127(1):50-8. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2008.553.


Objective: To collect a normative database of macular thickness, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thicknesses, and optic nerve topography in the healthy eyes of children aged 3 to 17 years using optical coherence tomography (OCT) measurements.

Methods: Scans were obtained for 286 healthy children (black, 114; white, 154; other, 18). Each child had a dilated eye examination, an axial length measurement using the IOL Master (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, California), and OCT measurements using the fast macular map, fast RNFL thickness, and fast optic disc protocols of the Stratus OCT (OCT-3; Carl Zeiss Meditec).

Results: Black children had smaller macular volume and foveal thickness, larger RNFL thickness, and larger cup-disc area ratios compared with white children. Macular volume and average outer macular thickness correlated negatively with axial length in white children. Foveal thickness correlated positively with age in black children only. Average RNFL correlated negatively with axial length in white children only (P < .05 for all). Normative data for all variables were recorded and compared with reported adult values.

Conclusions: Stratus OCT-3 measurements of macular and RNFL thickness and optic nerve topography vary with race, axial length, and age in healthy children. Normative pediatric OCT data should facilitate the use of OCT in assessing childhood glaucoma and other diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aging / physiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / cytology*
  • Macula Lutea / physiology
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers*
  • Reference Values
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*