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Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Using Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography in Patients With No Light Perception Secondary to Optic Atrophy

Groth, Sylvia L. BA; Harrison, Andrew MD; Grajewski, Alana L. MD; Lee, Michael S. MD

Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology: March 2013 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 37–39
doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e318272c7cd
Original Contribution

Background: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides useful structural information that can augment functional data. Newer spectral-domain technology provides faster and higher resolution images than time-domain machines. Although each measures the same structures, the values systematically differ. We evaluated eyes with longstanding no light perception (NLP) visual acuity secondary to optic atrophy using spectral-domain OCT to determine minimum retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness.

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional chart review study to identify patients with NLP acuity for 8 months or more and having a good quality Spectralis OCT (Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany) to measure the RNFL thickness. An unpaired t test compared the eyes with a previously published data set measured with time-domain OCT.

Results: Eleven eyes from 10 patients were examined with the Spectralis OCT. The mean duration of documented NLP acuity was 3.72 ± 1.20 years. The mean RNFL thickness was 34.18 ± 2.66 μm (95% confidence interval, 28.26–40.11 μm). Mean RNFL thickness was significantly thinner on this spectral-domain OCT than previously published values on time-domain OCT (34.18 vs 45.42 μm, P = 0.004).

Conclusion: Using the Spectralis OCT, mean RNFL thickness for NLP eyes due to optic atrophy is 28–40 μm. This provides clinicians useful information when considering how aggressively to manage patients with optic nerve disease.

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Address correspondence to Michael S. Lee, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street, Southeast, MMC 493, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0501; E-mail:

Supported by unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 by North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society