Relation between size of optic disc and thickness of retinal nerve fibre layer in normal subjects

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Abstract

Aims

To evaluate the relation between the optic disc size and the thickness of the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) in normal Japanese subjects by means of scanning laser polarimetry.

Methods

Scanning laser polarimetry was performed in 60 normal subjects. One eye of each subject was randomly selected for study. Using a scanning laser polarimeter, the integral of RNFL thickness was measured totally and regionally within a circular band located 1.75 disc diameters from the centre of the optic disc. The correlation between the optic disc size and the integral of RNFL thickness was examined.

Results

The optic disc size showed a significant correlation with the integral of RNFL thickness (R = 0.497, p <0.001). A significant negative correlation was observed between the optic disc size and the ratio of inferior integral to total integral of RNFL thickness (R = −0.274, p = 0.034).

Conclusions

The cross sectional area occupied by the RNF, measured by scanning laser polarimetry increased significantly with an increase in optic disc size while the ratio of inferior to total cross sectional area decreased significantly. These facts should be considered when one evaluates the RNFL thickness in patients with progressive optic neuropathies such as glaucoma.

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