Retinal nerve fiber layer and macular thickness measurement in patients with schizophrenia

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2016 Jun 10;26(4):375-8. doi: 10.5301/ejo.5000723. Epub 2015 Dec 29.


Purpose: To investigate the retina and macular thickness in patients with schizophrenia and to compare the results with those of healthy controls.

Methods: Sixty-eight eyes of 34 patients with schizophrenia and 60 eyes of 30 randomly selected healthy volunteers were involved in the study. Measurements of peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, macula thickness, and macula volume were taken in both eyes using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). Statistical analysis was performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20.0.

Results: Average and nasal RNFL thicknesses were found to be significantly lower in the patient group than the control group (p = 0.030, p = 0.04, respectively). Macular thicknesses of nasal outer and inferior outer quadrants in the patient group were significantly lower than in the control group (p = 0.009, p = 0.027, respectively). Average macular thickness and macular thicknesses in the superior outer, superior inner, temporal outer, temporal inner, nasal inner, and inferior inner areas were lower in the patient group compared to the control group, but not significantly (p = 1.000, p = 1.000, p = 0.837, p = 1.000, p = 0.279, p = 1.000, p = 0.180, respectively).

Conclusions: We detected RNFL and macular thinning in patients with schizophrenia. Based on these findings and results of other studies evaluating retina using OCT and brain magnetic resonance imaging studies in patients with schizophrenia, a neurodegenerative process may be an underlying pathologic mechanism in this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biometry
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Organ Size
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology*
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods