Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Measurement by Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2017 Mar;54(1):62-66. doi: 10.5152/npa.2015.10115.


Introduction: In recent years, an increasing number of studies have researched retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) changes in neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, our aim was to determine structural RNFL changes in patients with major depressive disorder.

Methods: A total of 30 patients with major depressive disorder and 30 age- and sex-matched controls were recruited. Using optical coherence tomography (OCT), the peripapillary RNFL thickness in major depressive disorder patients and control subjects was measured and compared at each location.

Results: Patients with major depressive disorder did not show a statistically significant reduction in overall peripapillary RNFL thickness.

Conclusion: Our study showed that RNFL thickness is not reduced in major depressive disorder patients and that OCT is not a useful tool for diagnosing and monitoring the progression of major depressive disorder. This study suggests that the pathophysiology of unipolar depression is different than in neurodegenerative disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Keywords: Depression; magnocellular pathway; retina.