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Neurol India. 2020 Mar 19. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.280634. [Epub ahead of print]

An Analysis of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness before and after Pituitary Adenoma Surgery and its Correlation with Visual Acuity.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Era Medical College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Department of Ophthalmology, Era Medical College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Department of Ophthalmology, Guru Nanak Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Department of Neurosurgery, Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, New Delhi, India.



Pituitary adenomas comprise approximately 10% of all intracranial tumors. Initially, subtle changes occur in the field of vision, which are difficult to assess clinically. It has been seen that following surgery of pituitary macroadenoma, total recovery of normal vision occurs in 35% of the patients, improvement of vision occurs in 60%, and in the rest there is no change in vision. Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) undergoes retrograde degeneration following compression of optic apparatus by pituitary tumor. We planned a study to evaluate RNFLT before and after pituitary adenoma surgery and its correlation with visual acuity.

Material and Methods:

Twenty patients (40 eyes) with diagnosed pituitary adenoma were included in the study. Preoperative visual acuity, fundus and RNFL thickness were calculated using spectral-domain OCT Optovue, Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany (RT 100 version 5.1), and postoperative measurement was done after 1 and 3 months. Four-quadrant mean of RNFLT was calculated. Results were tabulated and analyzed.

Statistical Analysis:

Results of the study were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 19.0.


There was no significant change in RNFLT after pituitary adenoma surgery, and it was found that patients with RNFLT within normal range preoperatively showed improvement in visual acuity after pituitary surgery. On the other hand, patients who had thinned-out RNFLT preoperatively showed no improvement in visual acuity. It was also found that once optic disc pallor sets due to chronic compression, then chances of its reversion to normal depend on its grading: only mild pallor disc has some chance to revert to normal, whereas moderate and severe pallor do not revert to normal.


RNFLT and optic disc can be used as prognostic factors for evaluation of visual outcome in pituitary adenoma surgery.


Optical coherence tomography; pituitary adenoma; retinal nerve fiber layer thickness

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