Regional correlation among ganglion cell complex, nerve fiber layer, and visual field loss in glaucoma

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Jun 21;54(6):4287-95. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-11388.


Purpose: To analyze the relationship among macular ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness, peripapillary nerve fiber layer (NFL) thickness, and visual field (VF) defects in patients with glaucoma.

Methods: A Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) system was used to map the macula and peripapillary regions of the retina in 56 eyes of 38 patients with perimetric glaucoma. The macular GCC and peripapillary NFL thicknesses were mapped and standard automated perimetry (SAP) was performed. Loss of GCC and NFL were correlated with the VF map on both a point-by-point and regional basis.

Results: Correlation between GCC thickness and peripapillary NFL thickness produced a detailed correspondence map that demonstrates the arcuate course of the NFL in the macula. Corresponding regions within the GCC, NFL, and VF maps demonstrate significant correlation, once parafoveal retinal ganglion cell (RGC) displacement is taken into account.

Conclusions: There are significant point-specific and regional correlations between GCC loss, NFL loss, and deficits on SAP. Using these different data sources together may improve our understanding of glaucomatous damage and aid in the management of patients with glaucoma.

Keywords: ganglion cell complex; optical coherence tomography; retinal nerve fiber layer; visual field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fourier Analysis
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Optic Disk / pathology
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Tonometry, Ocular
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields / physiology*