Background: The exact pathogenesis of open angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension remains unclear. Hemodynamic influences are discussed as potential risk factors and the choroid may play an important role in the pathogenesis of open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The current study investigates peripapillary choroidal thickness and choroidal area in patients with open angle glaucoma, subjects with ocular hypertension and healthy subjects using spectral-domain OCT. It furthermore assesses the association between peripapillary choroidal thickness and age, central corneal thickness, refractive error and intraocular pressure.
Patients and methods: Prospectively recorded data of 213 eyes of 177 open angle glaucoma patients, 73 eyes of 50 subjects with ocular hypertension and 152 eyes of 116 healthy control subjects were analyzed by fitting a linear mixed model including age and disease.
Results: Peripapillary choroidal thickness was thinnest in glaucoma patients (125 µm), followed by healthy subjects (127 µm) and ocular hypertensive subjects (135 µm). A marginally significant difference was present between ocular hypertension and glaucoma (p=0.059). Thickest choroids were found superiorly and thinnest choroids inferiorly. Choroidal area was highest in the supero-nasal and lowest in the infero-temporal sectors. Choroidal thickness decreased with age, no significant correlation was evident between peripapillary choroidal thickness and refractive error or intraocular pressure. Peripapillary choroidal thickness and central corneal thickness are significantly negative correlated in healthy subjects.
Conclusions: There is a trend towards thicker choroids in ocular hypertensive subjects compared to healthy subjects or glaucoma patients. Thickest choroids are found superiorly, thinnest inferiorly. Interestingly, choroidal area is thinnest in the temporal-inferior sector, one of the regions where glaucomatous damage tends to start.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.