Evaluation of the Choroid, Fovea, and Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2017 Apr;25(2):210-214. doi: 10.3109/09273948.2015.1095303. Epub 2015 Dec 30.


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on choroid, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), and foveal thickness using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Methods: Fifty patients with RA and forty-one healthy volunteers were enrolled in this study. The subfoveal, perifoveal choroidal, RNFL, and foveal thicknesses were measured by spectral domain OCT.

Results: The mean subfoveal, nasal, and temporal choroidal thicknesses in RA individuals were significantly higher than those in the control group (p ˂ 0.05). However, there was no significant difference between the RA and healthy group regarding RNFL and foveal thickness (p ˃ 0.05). A significant correlation was found between rheumatoid factor (RF) and the subfoveal temporal choroidal thickness.

Conclusion: Choroidal thickness in RA patients was higher than that in healthy participants. Choroidal thickening showed a positive correlation with RF, which may be an indicator for systemic vasculitis.

Keywords: Choroidal thickness; enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography; rheumatoid arthritis; vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Choroid / diagnostic imaging
  • Choroid / pathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fovea Centralis / diagnostic imaging
  • Fovea Centralis / pathology*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Organ Size
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence


  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Rheumatoid Factor