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Donald C Hood, Ali S Raza, Carlos Gustavo V de Moraes, Chris A Johnson, Jeffrey M Liebmann, Robert Ritch; The Nature of Macular Damage in Glaucoma as Revealed by Averaging Optical Coherence Tomography Data. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2012;1(1):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.1.1.3.
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To better understand the nature of glaucomatous damage, especially to the macula, the inner retinal thickness maps obtained with frequency domain optical coherence tomography (fdOCT) were averaged.
Frequency domain optical coherence tomography macular and optic disc cube scans were obtained from 54 healthy eyes and 156 eyes with glaucomatous optic neuropathy. A manually corrected algorithm was used for layer segmentation. Patients' eyes were grouped both by mean deviation (MD) and hemifield classification using standard categories and 24-2 (6° grid) visual fields (VFs). To obtain average difference maps, the thickness of retinal nerve fiber (RNF) and retinal ganglion cell plus inner plexiform (RGC+) layers were averaged and subtracted from the average control values.
On the average difference maps, RGC+ and RNF layer thinning was seen in the patient groups with VFs classified as normal. The pattern of the thinning was the same, but the degree of thinning increased with decreased MD and with classification category (from normal to arcuate). This RGC+ thinning was largely within the central four points of the 24-2 (6° grid) field, after correcting for RGC displacement.
1. VF categories represent different degrees of the same pattern of RGC+ and RNFL layer thinning. 2. RGC+ damage occurs in the central macula even in patients with VFs classified as normal. 3. The 6° grid (24-2) pattern is not optimally designed to detect macular damage. 4. A schematic model of RGC projections is proposed to explain the pattern of macular loss, including the greater vulnerability of the inferior retinal region.
Translational relevance: :
The 24-2 is not an optimal test pattern for detecting or following glaucomatous damage. Further, we suggest clinical fdOCT reports include RGC+ and RNFL probability plots combined with VF information.
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