Purpose: To analyze the frequency distribution and descriptive information of topometric data obtained with the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT) in a normal population.
Methods: Topographic measurements of the optic disc were acquired and evaluated using the HRT in 225 subjects between 12 and 90 years of age. After randomly selecting one eye per subject, the frequency distributions, mean values, minima, maxima, and first, fifth, fiftieth, ninety-fifth, and ninety-ninth percentiles were evaluated for topographic parameters computed by the HRT. The influence of age, intraocular pressure (IOP), disc size, and disc shape on optic disc topometric data was analyzed. A principal component analysis of the topometric parameters was performed. The frequency distributions, mean values, minima, maxima, and first, fifth, fiftieth, ninety-fifth, and ninety-ninth percentiles of the interocular difference in topographic parameters were evaluated.
Results: All topographic parameters showed a unimodal but not necessarily normal distribution. None of the parameters showed a relevant correlation with age, IOP (in the normal range), and overall shape of the anterior optic nerve, but a few parameters showed a clinically significant correlation with disc size. A principal component analysis identified four relevant factors (optic nerve cup, retinal nerve fiber layer, optic disc size, and optic nerve cup shape) in the entire data set of optic nerve topometric data. The absolute value of all interocular differences in topographic parameters showed an asymmetric but unimodal distribution.
Conclusion: The mathematical description of the optic nerve cup shape provides information on optic nerve head topography independently from cupping, nerve fiber layer thickness, and disc size. Potentially, quantification of further aspects in optic nerve head topography might improve the discriminatory power of computerized quantitative optic nerve head analysis.