Measurement of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in optic atrophy eyes of patients with optic neuritis using optical coherence tomography

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2010 Jul;248(7):1013-8. doi: 10.1007/s00417-010-1326-9. Epub 2010 Feb 27.


Objective: To measure the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness using optical coherence tomography (OCT) in optic atrophy eyes of patients with optic neuritis and investigate the correlation between the RNFL thickness and the visual function.

Methods: To compare the RNFL thickness using StratusOCT, three groups of the subjects were enrolled, including 72 patients with optic atrophy with definite demyelinating optic neuritis history (the neuritis group), 47 patients with advanced POAG atrophic neuropathy (the POAG group), and 47 healthy subjects (the control group). The correlation between the RNFL thickness and visual function parameters were investigated in the neuritis group, including the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), the visual field mean deviation (MD), pattern standard deviation (PSD), and P(100) latency of visual evoked potentials (VEP).

Results: The average RNFL thickness, superior, nasal and inferior thicknesses were significantly thinner in both the neuritis group and the POAG group than those in the control group (p < 0.05), while they were higher in the neuritis group than the POAG group (p < 0.05). The significant correlations were found both between the average RNFL thickness and BCVA (r = 0.35, p < 0.05), MD (r = 0.43, p < 0.05), and PSD (r = 0.39, p < 0.05).

Conclusion: In comparison to the advanced POAG and normal eyes, the RNFL thickness was decreased moderately in the optic atrophy eyes resulting from demyelinating optic neuritis and was quantitatively correlated with the visual function parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology
  • Nerve Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology
  • Optic Atrophy / pathology*
  • Optic Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Optic Neuritis / pathology*
  • Optic Neuritis / physiopathology
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Retina / physiopathology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology