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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Sep 5;54(9):5953-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-12046.

Evaluation of retinal nerve fiber layer and ganglion cell layer thickness in Alzheimer's disease using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

Author information

1
Eye Clinic, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences Luigi Sacco, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate differences between the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and RNFL + ganglion cell layer (GCL) thickness in patients affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD) and healthy patients using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).

METHODS:

This was a case-control prospective study. Twenty-one AD patients and 21 healthy subjects underwent neurological examination, clock-drawing test (CDT), Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), and comprehensive ophthalmic evaluation with visual acuity. SD-OCT examination was performed using Spectralis and RTVue-100. An RNFL thickness map was obtained using the Spectralis volume protocol with 19 lines on the 30° field centered on the macula. On each B-scan, the outer RNFL limit was manually set. Statistical analysis was performed to assess interoperator RNFL evaluation thickness. An RNFL+GCL thickness map was obtained using the RTVue-100 MM6 protocol. Maps were divided into the nine ETDRS subfields and each map value in every area was evaluated. A single eye from each patient was randomly chosen to perform the analysis. Differences between AD and healthy subjects were assessed.

RESULTS:

The two study groups were age and sex matched. MMSE results were 19.9 ± 3.1 and 27.9 ± 1.3, respectively (P < 0.001). There was good agreement in the manual delimitation of the RNFL layer. There was a significant difference in the thickness of both the RNFL and the RNFL+GCL in all examined fields. For example, in the inferior internal subfield, the RNFL thickness was 28.1 ± 3.1 μm for AD patients and 32.6 ± 3.8 μm for healthy subjects (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that RNFL and RNFL+GCL thickness measurements are reduced in AD patients compared with healthy subjects. This finding may represent a useful element for the diagnosis and follow-up of this pathology.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer's disease; GCL; RNFL; SD-OCT

PMID:
23920375
DOI:
10.1167/iovs.13-12046
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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