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Ophthalmic Res. 2013;50(3):160-4. doi: 10.1159/000351681. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Spectral domain optical coherence tomography findings in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.



To report the morphological macular findings detected by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and to determine their prevalence in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).


SD-OCT scans of 176 eyes from 90 patients affected by RP were reviewed. A careful evaluation was carried out on photoreceptor inner/outer segment (IS/OS) junction, external limiting membrane (ELM), inner limiting membrane thickening (ILMT), epiretinal membranes (ERMs), retinal micropseudocysts (MPCs), cystoid macular edema (CME), macular holes (MHs) and choroidal neovascularization (CNV).


The photoreceptor IS/OS junction was absent in the foveal region of 24 eyes (13.6%) and disrupted in 84 eyes (47.7%). The ELM was absent in 24 eyes (13.6%), whereas the ILMT was found in 118 eyes (67%). The presence of an ERM was detected in 48 eyes (27.3%). Some sort of vitreomacular alteration (ILMT and/or ERM) was identifiable in a total of 94.3% of eyes with RP. The presence of MPCs was detected in 32 eyes (18.2%). An evident CME was found in 22 eyes (12.5%). We also found MHs in 8 eyes (4.5%) and CNV in 3 eyes (1.7%).


Our data indicate that RP is associated with alterations of many retinal layers. In particular, the vitreoretinal interface is affected in 94% of patients, and MPC can be identified in 18% of eyes. SD-OCT may contribute to the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanism involved in RP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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