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J Fr Ophtalmol. 2012 Jun;35(6):454-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jfo.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

[Optical coherence tomography in neuro-ophthalmology].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Service d'ophtalmologie, hôpital Robert-Debré, CHU de Reims, avenue du Général-Koenig, 51092 Reims cedex, France.



Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a potential tool for diagnosis and follow-up in diseases of the anterior visual pathway in that it provides a reproducible and reliable quantification of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness. A review of the literature was conducted to define the utility of OCT in neuro-ophthalmology.


The clinical applications of RNFL thickness measurement by OCT time domain were analyzed. The PubMed search engine enabled us to select the relevant publications, using the following keywords: "optic neuropathy", "retinal nerve fiber layer thickness", and "optical coherence tomography". Publications concerning glaucoma were excluded from this review.


The course of RNFL thickness depends on the underlying disease: (I) progressive reduction toward atrophy (e.g., optic neuritis, chiasmal compression) or (II) initial increase in RNFL thickness followed by a reduction toward (IIa) normalization (papilledema) or (IIb) atrophy (anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy).


Depending on the type of anterior visual pathway impairment, OCT provides RNFL data relevant for diagnosis, follow-up, and prognosis. As in macular disease, OCT has become an important clinical tool for routine disease assessment in neuro-ophthalmology.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

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