Purpose: To assess the structure-function relationship in glaucoma using Humphrey visual field (HVF) perimetry and a three-dimensional neuroretinal rim parameter derived from spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) volume scans.
Methods: Structure-function correlation was analyzed globally and regionally (four quadrants and four sectors). Structural data included peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and minimum distance band (MDB) neuroretinal rim thickness, defined as the shortest distance between the inner cup surface and the outer retinal pigment epithelium/Bruch's membrane complex. Logarithmic regression analyses were performed and Pearson correlation coefficients determined to assess relationship strength.
Results: The study consisted of 102 open-angle glaucoma patients and 58 healthy subjects. The Pearson correlation coefficient for global MDB thickness (R = 0.585) was higher than for global RNFL thickness (R = 0.492), but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.18). The correlation coefficients for regional MDB thicknesses and corresponding HVF sensitivities were higher than those for regional RNFL thicknesses and HVF in six out of eight regions (P = 0.08 to 0.47). In the remaining two out of eight regions, the correlation coefficients were higher for RNFL thickness than for MDB thickness (P = 0.15 to 0.20).
Conclusions: Three-dimensional MDB neuroretinal rim thickness relates to visual function as strongly as the most commonly used SD-OCT parameter for glaucoma, two-dimensional peripapillary RNFL thickness.
Translational relevance: This paper illustrates the potential for 3D OCT algorithms to improve in vivo imaging in glaucoma.