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PLoS One. 2018 Sep 18;13(9):e0204069. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204069. eCollection 2018.

Changes in the optic nerve head induced by horizontal eye movements.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Hanyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



To investigate the effect of eye movement on the optic nerve head (ONH) using swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT), and to measure the degree of ONH changes.


We enrolled 52 healthy subjects, 20 to 40 years of age, and performed a prospective observational study. Both ONH and macula were imaged simultaneously using wide volume scan of the SS-OCT in the primary and different gaze positions. Horizontal eye movements were used to obtain OCT images in abducted and adducted eyeball positions. Multilateral 3-dimensional registration was used to process and analyze the images to measure the degree of ONH changes.


The mean axial length (AXL) was 25.73 ± 1.42mm and the mean spherical equivalents was -4.49 ± 2.94 D (The proportion of high myopia was 39.4%). Significant morphologic changes were observed in the ONH during both abduction and adduction. In abduction, the overall ONH tissues were elevated, and the mean area of elevation was 115,134 ± 9,424 μm2 (p<0.001). In adduction, the mean areas from two perspectives, which were nasal or temporal, and peripapillary tissues or optic nerve cupping were 95,277 ± 73,846 μm2, 34,450 ± 44,948 μm2, -108,652 ± 91,246 μm2, and -30,581 ± 46,249 μm2, respectively. Elevation in abduction (overall, nasal cup segment, and temporal cup segment; R = 0.204, 0.195 and 0.225, p = 0.038, 0.047 and 0.021, respectively) and elevation of nasal peripapillary segments in adduction were positively correlated with AXL (R = 0.346, p<0.001).


We found significant morphologic changes in the ONH in both abduction and adduction and these changes were associated with AXL. Considering these morphologic changes as physical properties, it allows a better understanding of the biomechanical characteristics of the ONH.

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