It is generally assumed that optical coherence tomography (OCT) cannot be used to diagnose glaucomatous optic neuropathy (GON) in high myopes. However, this study presents evidence that there is sufficient information in OCT scans to allow for accurate diagnosis of GON in most eyes with high myopia.
The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that glaucomatous damage can be accurately diagnosed in most high myopes via an assessment of the OCT results.
Patients and Methods:
One hundred eyes from 60 glaucoma patients or suspects, referred for OCT scans and evaluation, had corrected spherical refractive errors worse than −6 D and/or axial lengths ≥26.5 mm. An OCT specialist judged whether the eye had GON, based upon OCT circle scans of the disc and cube scans centered on the macula. A glaucoma specialist made the same judgement using all available information (eg, family history, repeat visits, intraocular pressure, 10-2 and 24-2 visual fields, OCT). A reference standard was created based upon the glaucoma specialist’s classifications. In addition, the glaucoma specialist judged whether the eyes had peripapillary atrophy (PPA), epiretinal membrane (ERM), tilted disc (TD), and/or a paravascular inner retinal defect (PIRD).
The OCT specialist correctly identified 97 of the 100 eyes using the OCT information. In 63% of the cases, the inner circle scan alone was sufficient. For the rest, additional scans were requested. In addition, 81% of the total eyes had: PPA (79%), ERM (18%), PIRD (26%), and/or TD (48%).
For most eyes with high myopia, there is sufficient information in OCT scans to allow for accurate diagnosis of GON. However, the optimal use of the OCT will depend upon training to read OCT scans, which includes taking into consideration myopia related OCT artifacts and segmentation errors, as well as PPA, ERM, PIRD, and TD.