Peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer thickness in women with iron deficiency anaemia

J Int Med Res. 2015 Feb;43(1):104-9. doi: 10.1177/0300060514555562. Epub 2014 Dec 4.


Objective: To evaluate peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness in adult women with iron deficiency anaemia and healthy control subjects.

Methods: Women with iron deficiency anaemia and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were sequentially recruited and underwent detailed ophthalmic examination, including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). Serum haemoglobin (Hb), iron and ferritin concentrations, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) and mean corpuscular volume were determined.

Results: Peripapillary RNFL thicknesses in the nasal and inferior quadrants were significantly smaller in patients (n = 40) than in controls (n = 40). In the patient group, there were significant correlations between inferior quadrant RNFL thickness and Hb, and between nasal quadrant RNFL thickness and serum iron and ferritin concentrations, and TIBC.

Conclusion: Iron deficiency anaemia reduces RNFL thickness in adult women.

Keywords: Iron deficiency anaemia; adult women; peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer; spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Young Adult