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Donald C. Hood, Monica F. Chen, Dongwon Lee, Benjamin Epstein, Paula Alhadeff, Richard B. Rosen, Robert Ritch, Alfredo Dubra, Toco Y. P. Chui; Confocal Adaptive Optics Imaging of Peripapillary Nerve Fiber Bundles: Implications for Glaucomatous Damage Seen on Circumpapillary OCT Scans. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2015;4(2):12. doi: 10.1167/tvst.4.2.12.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To improve our understanding of glaucomatous damage as seen on circumpapillary disc scans obtained with frequency-domain optical coherence tomography (fdOCT), fdOCT scans were compared to images of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber (RNF) bundles obtained with an adaptive optics-scanning light ophthalmoscope (AO-SLO).
The AO-SLO images and fdOCT scans were obtained on 6 eyes of 6 patients with deep arcuate defects (5 points ≤−15 db) on 10-2 visual fields. The AO-SLO images were montaged and aligned with the fdOCT images to compare the RNF bundles seen with AO-SLO to the RNF layer thickness measured with fdOCT.
All 6 eyes had an abnormally thin (1% confidence limit) RNF layer (RNFL) on fdOCT and abnormal (hyporeflective) regions of RNF bundles on AO-SLO in corresponding regions. However, regions of abnormal, but equal, RNFL thickness on fdOCT scans varied in appearance on AO-SLO images. These regions could be largely devoid of RNF bundles (5 eyes), have abnormal-appearing bundles of lower contrast (6 eyes), or have isolated areas with a few relatively normal-appearing bundles (2 eyes). There also were local variations in reflectivity of the fdOCT RNFL that corresponded to the variations in AO-SLO RNF bundle appearance.
Relatively similar 10-2 defects with similar fdOCT RNFL thickness profiles can have very different degrees of RNF bundle damage as seen on fdOCT and AO-SLO.
While the results point to limitations of fdOCT RNFL thickness as typically analyzed, they also illustrate the potential for improving fdOCT by attending to variations in local intensity.
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