Shape Changes of the Anterior Lamina Cribrosa in Normal, Ocular Hypertensive, and Glaucomatous Eyes Following Acute Intraocular Pressure Elevation

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Sep 1;57(11):4869-4877. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-19753.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to estimate and compare changes in anterior lamina cribrosa (LC) morphology in normal, ocular hypertensive (OHT), and glaucomatous eyes following acute elevations in intraocular pressure (IOP).

Methods: The optic nerve heads (ONHs) of 97 subjects (17 OHT, 19 primary open-angle glaucoma [POAG], 31 primary angle-closure glaucoma [PACG], and 30 normal subjects) were imaged using optical coherence tomography (OCT). Intraocular pressure was raised twice by applying forces to the anterior sclera, using an ophthalmodynamometer. After each IOP elevation, IOP was held constant and measured; each ONH was rescanned with OCT. In each OCT volume, the anterior LC was enhanced, delineated, and its global shape index (GSI) calculated and compared across groups.

Results: The baseline IOP was 17.5 ± 3.5 mm Hg and was increased to 38 ± 5.9 mm Hg and then to 46.5 ± 5.9 mm Hg. At the first IOP increment, mean GSI was significantly smaller than that at baseline in normal subjects and glaucoma subjects (P < 0.05) but not in OHT subjects (P = 0.12). For the second IOP increment, the mean GSI was significantly smaller than that at baseline in normal subjects and in OHT eyes (P < 0.05). After adjusting for age, sex, and baseline IOP, the LC of POAG eyes was found to be significantly more posteriorly curved than that of normal subjects (P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Acute IOP elevations altered anterior LC shape in a complex nonlinear fashion. The LC of POAG eyes was more cupped following acute IOP elevations compared to that of normal subjects.