A Noninvasive Clinical Method to Measure in Vivo Mechanical Strains of the Lamina Cribrosa by OCT

Ophthalmol Sci. 2024 Jan 20;4(4):100473. doi: 10.1016/j.xops.2024.100473. eCollection 2024 Jul-Aug.


Objective: To measure mechanical strain of the lamina cribrosa (LC) after intraocular pressure (IOP) change produced 1 week after a change in glaucoma medication.

Design: Cohort study.

Participants: Adult glaucoma patients (23 eyes, 15 patients) prescribed a change in IOP-lowering medication.

Intervention: Noninvasive OCT imaging of the eye.

Main outcome measures: Deformation calculated by digital volume correlation of OCT scans of the LC before and after IOP lowering by medication.

Results: Among 23 eyes, 17 eyes of 12 persons had IOP lowering ≥ 3 mmHg (reduced IOP group) with tensile anterior-posterior Ezz strain = 1.0% ± 1.1% (P = 0.003) and compressive radial strain (Err) = -0.3% ± 0.5% (P = 0.012; random effects models accounting inclusion of both eyes in some persons). Maximum in-plane principal (tensile) strain and maximum shear strain in the reduced-IOP group were as follows: Emax = 1.7% ± 1.0% and Γmax = 1.4% ± 0.7%, respectively (both P < 0.0001 vs. zero). Reduced-IOP group strains Emax and Γmax were significantly larger with greater % IOP decrease (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). The compliances of the Ezz, Emax, and Γmax strain responses, defined as strain normalized by the IOP decrease, were larger with more abnormal perimetric mean deviation or visual field index values (all P ≤ 0.02). Strains were unrelated to age (all P ≥ 0.088). In reduced-IOP eyes, mean LC anterior border posterior movement was only 2.05 μm posteriorly (P = 0.052) and not related to % IOP change (P = 0.94, random effects models). Only Err was significantly related to anterior lamina depth change, becoming more negative with greater posterior LC border change (P = 0.015).

Conclusions: Lamina cribrosa mechanical strains can be effectively measured by changes in eye drop medication using OCT and are related to degree of visual function loss in glaucoma.

Financial disclosures: Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the Footnotes and Disclosures at the end of this article.

Keywords: Digital volume correlation; Glaucoma; Lamina cribrosa; Optic nerve head; Optical coherence tomography.