Diagnostic ability of retinal ganglion cell complex, retinal nerve fiber layer, and optic nerve head measurements by Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2011 Jul;249(7):1039-45. doi: 10.1007/s00417-010-1585-5. Epub 2011 Jan 15.


Purpose: To evaluate the diagnostic ability of Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) measurements in glaucoma patients, patients with ocular hypertension, and normal subjects.

Methods: Ninety-three participants with open-angle glaucoma (OAG), 58 patients with ocular hypertension (OHT), and 60 healthy control subjects were included in the study. All study participants underwent FD-OCT imaging. Retinal ganglion cell complex (GCC), macular thickness, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RFNL), and optic nerve head parameters (ONH) were measured in each participant. The diagnostic ability was evaluated using area under the receiver operating characteristics curves (AUROC).

Results: Glaucoma patients showed a significant reduction in GCC and macular retinal thickness compared to patients with OHT and normal subjects. No differences in GCC were found between the patients with OHT and normal subjects. The best diagnostic ability in the comparison between glaucoma and normal subjects after adjusting for age was found for cup-to-disc ratio (AUROC = 0.848), RNFL average thickness (AUROC = 0.828), and GCC global loss volume (AUROC = 0.805). The diagnostic power of the best GCC, RNFL, and ONH parameter did not show differences beyond random variation (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Imaging of the GCC using FD-OCT (RTVue-100) has a comparable diagnostic ability to RNFL and ONH measurements in distinguishing between glaucoma patients and healthy subjects. No differences were found between patients with OHT and normal subjects with regard to ONH, RNFL, and GCC parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Area Under Curve
  • Female
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Ocular Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Visual Fields