Purpose: We determined the relationship between the position of the peak of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, and the retinal arteries, axial length (AL), and sectoral RNFL thickness in healthy eyes.
Methods: A prospective, observational cross-sectional study (registration number, UMIN000006040) of 50 healthy right eyes (mean age 25.8 ± 3.7 years) was performed. The RNFL thickness was measured by optical coherence tomography in twelve 30° sectors (clock hours) around the optic disc. The RNFL nasal-superior-temporal-inferior-nasal curves and fundus photographs were used to measure the angles between the supratemporal and infratemporal peak RNFL positions (peak angle), and the retinal artery angle (artery angle), respectively. The relationships between the peak angle, artery angle, AL, and sectoral RNFL thickness were investigated by linear regression analyses.
Results: The peak angles were highly correlated with the artery angle (r = 0.92, P < 0.001) and correlated negatively with the AL (r = -0.49, -0.38; P < 0.01). After excluding the effect of the AL, the peak and artery angles were correlated significantly with the sectoral RNFL thickness in 8 sectors. After excluding the effect of the peak angle, the AL was correlated significantly with the sectoral RNFL thicknesses in only one sector.
Conclusions: The temporal RNFL thickness increased as the superior and inferior RNFL peaks, and retinal arteries shifted toward the fovea, whereas an inverse relationship was observed for the inferior and supranasal areas. The sectoral RNFL thickness is correlated better with the peak and artery angles than the axial length. (https://upload.umin.ac.jp/cgi-open-bin/ctr/ctr.cgi?function=brows&action=brows&type=summary &recptno=R000007154&language=J number, UMIN000006040.).
Keywords: glaucoma; image analysis; myopia; optical coherence tomography; retinal nerve fiber layer thickness.