Evaluation of the nerve fiber layer and macula in the eyes of healthy children using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography

Am J Ophthalmol. 2012 Mar;153(3):552-559.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.08.026. Epub 2011 Oct 22.


Purpose: To determine the normative values of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), macular thickness, and macular volume in healthy children using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and analyze the correlation of such values with age, refraction error, and biometric measurements.

Design: Observational case series.

Methods: This institutional study involved 107 eyes from 107 healthy pediatric patients (54 female, 53 male) with ages between 6 and 16 years. After the biometric measurements and refractive error values (in spherical equivalent) of the cases were obtained, the peripapillary RNFL, macular thickness, and macular volume values were calculated using the Spectralis OCT device.

Results: Among the study group, with an average age of 10.46 ± 2.94 years, the average axial length (AL) was 23.33 ± 0.89 mm; the average spherical equivalent (SE) value was -0.27 ± 0.99 diopter. The average peripapillary RNFL thickness was 106.45 ± 9.41 μm; the average macular thickness was 326.44 ± 14.17 μm; and the average macular volume was 0.257 ± 0.011 mm(3). The aforementioned OCT measurements were not significantly correlated with age, SE, or AL values (P > .05 for all).

Conclusions: This study reports SD-OCT findings among healthy pediatric cases. SD-OCT can be reliably used for pediatric patients because of its short exposure time and high degree of image resolution.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aging / physiology
  • Axons*
  • Biometry
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Optic Disk / anatomy & histology*
  • Reference Values
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*