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Is Multiple Sclerosis Associated With a Lower Intraocular Pressure?

Lincoff, Norah S. MD; Buccilli, Andrea MD; Weinstock-Guttman, Bianca MD; Sieminski, Sandra MD; Gandhi, Sirin MD

doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000520
Original Contribution

Objective: To determine if multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with lower intraocular pressure (IOP) compared with individuals without MS.

Methods: Thirty patients with clinically definite MS were identified and a retrospective chart review was conducted. Each patient with MS underwent IOP recording by a single investigator using kinetic applanation tonometry. Measurement of central corneal thickness (CCT) also was obtained. Similarly, 30 study controls were identified and kinetic applanation tonometry and CCT were recorded. Univariate analysis of covariance was conducted to determine a statistically significant difference between IOP between MS and control groups, controlling for age.

Results: Analyses were adjusted for age and 2 subjects were excluded because of steroid use. The average IOP in MS group was 12.3 mm Hg (right eye = 12.3 mm Hg, left eye = 12.2 mm Hg) and in the control group was 17 mm Hg (right eye = 16.9 mm Hg, left eye = 17 mm Hg). There was a significant effect of presence of MS on IOP accounting for 53% variability in mean IOP (F(1,55) = 60.7; P < 0.001) when compared with the control group.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that IOP was significantly lower in patients with MS compared with controls. A more in-depth prospective study design is required, along with further investigation of possible etiologies. Identifying the mechanism of decreased IOP in patients with MS might allow development of new-targeted therapies for the treatment of glaucoma.

Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology (NSL), State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, Buffalo, New York; Jacobs MS Center (NSL, BW-G, SG), UBMD Neurology, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York; Ophthalmology Clinic (AB), Lockport, New York; and Ross Eye Institute (SS), University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.

Address correspondence to Norah S. Lincoff, MD, Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology, Jacobs Neurological Institute, School of Medicine and Biomedical sciences, University at Buffalo, 100 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203; E-mail:

Supported by Jog for the Jake Grant. B. Weinstock-Guttman has participated in speaker's bureaus and served as a consultant for Biogen, Teva Neurosciences, EMD Serono, Novartis, Genzyme and Genentech. She also has received grant/research support from the agencies listed above. No other industry financial relationships exist. The remaining authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2017 by North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society