Evaluation of optical features of the macula in multiple sclerosis

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Differences in optical and irregularity measures of abnormal retinal tissue may provide additional information of impairment of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and ganglion cell/inner plexiform layer complex (GCL+IPL) in multiple sclerosis (MS). The purpose of our study was to estimate these retinal changes in MS.


Twenty-seven patients with MS were examined using Stratus OCT. The raw macular OCT data was exported and processed using OCTRIMA software and the fractal dimension (FD) and layer index (LI) values of seven intraretinal layers were obtained. The enrolled eyes were divided into two groups, based on ON in the history (ON+ group, n=13 and ON- group, n=14). Data of 73 healthy subjects (N) were used as controls. ANOVA with Newman-Keuls post-hoc analysis was used for the comparison of FD and LI values. The level of significance was set at p<0.001.


A significant decrease was observed in LI in the entire macula and the perifoveal region in RNFL (12.4±1.4, 10.8±0.8, 9.3 ±1.4 and 14.0±1.7, 12.0±0.9, 10.0±1.7 for the N, ON- and ON+ groups, respectively). The RNFL in the ON- group was significantly different from both the N and ON+ groups (p<0.001 for all comparisons). No significant changes were found in the other layers. A significant increase was observed between the ON- and ON+ groups in FD in the entire macula and the perifoveal region in the RNFL layer (1.8±0.04, 1.8±0.07 p<0.001 and 1.6±0.06, 1.6±0.1 p<0.001, respectively) but no significant changes were found in the other layers.


In MS, the optical features of the ganglion cells and the RNFL also change besides the pathological remodeling of macular tissue. This result may help to improve the diagnostic efficacy of OCT in MS.


Commercial interest

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