Prospective study on retinal nerve fibre layer changes after an acute episode of phacomorphic angle closure

Int Ophthalmol. 2012 Dec;32(6):577-82. doi: 10.1007/s10792-012-9614-5. Epub 2012 Jul 31.


To investigate the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) changes after an acute attack of phacomorphic angle closure. This prospective study involved ten cases of phacomorphic angle closure that underwent cataract extraction and intraocular lens insertion after intraocular pressure lowering. Apart from visual acuity and intraocular pressure (IOP), RNFL thickness and vertical cup disc ratio (VCDR) were measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT) at 3-9 months post attack. Humphrey visual field assessment was performed at 9 months post attack. All cases had mean phacomorphic duration of <5 days. Postoperatively, best correct Snellen visual acuity was 0.4 ± 0.2 and IOP at 9 months was 11.0 ± 3.1 mmHg. There was no difference in VCDR and RNFL between the attack and contralateral eye at 3 months post attack (both p = 0.4). At 9 months post attack, there was significant thinning in the average (p = 0.01), superior (p = 0.01), and inferior (p = 0.006) RNFL. There was no significant difference in the pattern standard deviation (PSD) between the two eyes on the Humphrey visual field nor was there any correlation between PSD severity and RNFL thinning (all p > 0.2. Patients with <5 days duration of phacomorphic angle closure are likely to have reasonable postoperative vision. An acute episode of phacomorphic angle closure can trigger an accelerated RNFL thinning despite normal IOP and open angles, most noticeable in the superior and inferior quadrants, occurring between 3 and 9 months post attack. Glaucomatous optic neuropathy in the attack eye was evident by OCT but not by visual field assessment at the same time interval.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Cataract Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / complications*
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / pathology
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / etiology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Tonometry, Ocular