alexa Retinal thickness decreases with age: an OCT study.


International Journal of Neurorehabilitation

Author(s): Alamouti B, Funk J

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Abstract BACKGROUND/AIM: In three dimensional optic disc tomography a reference plane is required to calculate optic disc rim or cup values. The position of the reference plane often depends on the retinal thickness at the temporal disc margin. Originally it was assumed that the retinal thickness at the temporal disc margin is independent of age. The aim of the study was to check this hypothesis using optical coherence tomography, and additionally to determine the reproducibility of OCT measurements in this area. METHODS: 100 eyes of 100 healthy volunteers were included in this study. Three OCT scans were performed on each eye. The scans were aligned vertically and placed at the temporal edge of the optic disc. For each eye, the thickness of the whole retina as well as the thickness of the retinal nerve fibre layer were calculated together with their coefficients of variation. Thereafter retinal thickness and nerve fibre layer thickness were correlated with age. RESULTS: The mean retinal thickness was 249 (SD 22) micro m. The mean nerve fibre layer thickness was 109 (22) micro m. The mean coefficients of variation were 3.5\% (total retinal thickness) and 8.0\% (nerve fibre layer thickness). Both the total retinal thickness and the nerve fibre layer thickness were significantly correlated with age (total retina: y = 269.5 - 0.53 x x; R(2) = 0.133; p = 0.0002, nerve fibre layer: y = 126.8 - 0.44 x x; R(2) = 0.094; p<0.0019. CONCLUSIONS: Using OCT scans the total retinal thickness can be calculated with high reproducibility (coefficient of variation = 3.5\%). The reproducibility of nerve fibre layer thickness measurements is clearly lower (coefficient of variation = 8.0\%). Both the total retinal thickness and the nerve fibre layer thickness significantly decrease with age. This influence of the age related decrease in RNFL/retinal thickness on the reference plane, however, is negligible.
This article was published in Br J Ophthalmol and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation

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