Choroidal Thickness and Open-Angle Glaucoma: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review

J Glaucoma. 2016 May;25(5):e446-54. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000275.


Purpose: Numerous studies have detected choroidal thickness abnormalities and changes in open-angle glaucoma (OAG), as measured by enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography technologies, but the results have not always been consistent. Therefore, a meta-analysis and systematic review was performed to evaluate the choroidal thickness in OAG.

Materials and methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed on Medline, Embase, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Google Scholar, and Chinese databases including Wangfang and CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure). Eligible articles were identified by reviewing the retrieved results. For continuous outcomes, we calculated the weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Statistical analysis was performed using STATA 12.0 software.

Results: Twenty-two case-control or cross-sectional studies were included in the present meta-analysis. The results of our study showed that there was no significant difference in subfoveal choroidal thickness between patients with OAG and controls (WMD=-7.94; 95% CI, -26.01 to 10.13; P=0.389). Similar findings were obtained for the average peripapillary choroidal thickness (WMD=-14.24; 95% CI, -30.20 to 1.73; P=0.08).

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis found no significant difference in the choroidal thickness both under the fovea and around the optic nerve head between OAG patients and controls. On the basis of the anatomic features of blood supply in optic nerve head, it is plausible that the choroidal thickness is not an appropriate parameter to evaluate the damage of OAG, and choroidal thinning may not be an important component of glaucomatous optic neuropathy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Choroid / pathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Optic Disk / pathology
  • Organ Size
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence