Diagnostic value of ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer for early detection of ethambutol-induced optic neuropathy

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To evaluate the diagnostic value of macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (mGCIPL) thickness versus peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL) thickness for the early detection of ethambutol-induced optic neuropathy (EON).


Twenty-eight eyes of 15 patients in the EON group and 100 eyes of 53 healthy subjects in the control group were included. All patients with EON demonstrated the onset of visual symptoms within 3 weeks. Diagnostic power for pRNFL and mGCIPL thicknesses measured by Cirrus spectral-domain optical coherence tomography was assessed by area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves and sensitivity.


All of the mGCIPL thickness measurements were thinner in the EON group than in the control group in early EON (p<0.001). All of pRNFL thicknesses except inferior RNFL showed AUROC curves above 0.5, and all of the mGCIPL thicknesses showed AUROC curves above 0.5. The AUROC of the average mGCIPL (0.812) thickness was significantly greater than that of the average pRNFL (0.507) thickness (p<0.001). Of all the mGCIPL-related parameters considered, the minimum thickness showed the greatest AUROC value (0.863). The average mGCIPL thickness showed a weak correlation with visual field pattern standard deviations (r2=0.158, p<0.001).


In challenging cases of EON, the mGCIPL thickness has better diagnostic performance in detecting early-onset EON as compared with using pRNFL thickness. Among the early detection ability of mGCIPL thickness, minimum GCIPL thickness has high diagnostic ability.

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