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Exp Ther Med. 2013 Jul;6(1):268-274. Epub 2013 May 15.

Comparison of optic nerve morphology in eyes with glaucoma and eyes with non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy by Fourier domain optical coherence tomography.

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Departments of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Weihui, Henan 453100, P.R. China.


The aim of this study was to compare the optic nerve head (ONH) and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in eyes with glaucoma and non-arteritic anterior ischemic neuropathy (NAION) by Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (FDOCT), and to evaluate the diagnostic capability of FDOCT in glaucoma and NAION. This study included 26 eyes with glaucoma (36.6%), 15 eyes with NAION (21.1%) and 30 eyes of normal subjects (42.3%). Those with the following conditions were excluded; a visual field defect greater than one hemifield, spherical equivalent (SE) more than ±6 D, or the onset of NAION within 6 months. FDOCT was used to analyze the characteristics of ONH and RNFL thickness. Among the three groups of subjects, glaucomatous eyes had the largest cup area and cup volume, and the smallest rim area, rim volume and disc volume (P<0.05). NAION eyes had the smallest cup area and cup volume (P<0.05), but their rim area, rim volume and disc volume were comparable to those of control eyes (P>0.05). The cup-to-disc (C/D) ratio was increased in glaucomatous eyes but reduced in NAION eyes compared with control eyes. Glaucomatous eyes had the greatest loss of RNFL thickness in the temporal upper (TU), superior temporal (ST) and temporal lower (TL) regions (P<0.05), whereas NAION eyes had the smallest RNFL thickness in the superior nasal (SN) and nasal upper (NU) regions (P<0.05). The areas under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AROCs) of the temporal, superior and inferior RNFL in glaucomatous eyes were greater compared with that of the disc area (P<0.05). In addition, the AROCs of the temporal, superior and inferior RNFL were higher compared with that of nasal RNFL (P<0.05). The AROCs of all parameters for NAION were not significantly different, with the exception of superior, nasal superior and inferior temporal RNFL (P<0.05). In conclusion, FDOCT is able to detect quantitative differences in the optic disc morphology and RNFL thickness between glaucomatous and NAION eyes. These differences may provide new insights into the clinical characteristics and diagnosis of the two diseases.


glaucoma; ischemic optic neuropathy; optic coherence tomography; optic disc; retinal nerve fiber layer

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