Relationship between macular ganglion cell complex thickness and macular outer retinal thickness: a spectral-domain optical coherence tomography study

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Abstract

Background:

To assess the relationship between macular ganglion cell complex and macular outer retinal thicknesses.

Design:

Case–control study.

Participants:

Forty-two normal eyes and 91 eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma were studied.

Methods:

Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (RTVue-100) was used to measure the macular ganglion cell complex and macular outer retinal thickness. Ganglion cell complex to outer retinal thickness ratio was also calculated.

Main Outcome Measures:

The relationships between the ganglion cell complex and outer retinal thicknesses and between the ganglion cell complex to outer retinal thickness ratio and outer retinal thickness were evaluated.

Results:

There was a positive correlation between ganglion cell complex and outer retinal thicknesses in the normal group and the glaucoma group (r = 0.53, P < 0.001 and r = 0.42, P < 0.001, respectively). In that respect, there was no correlation between ganglion cell complex to outer retinal thickness ratio and outer retinal thickness in the both groups (r = −0.07, P = 0.657, and r = 0.04, P = 0.677, respectively). The ganglion cell complex to outer retinal thickness ratio was 55.65% in the normal group, 45.07% in the glaucoma group. This difference was statistically significant.

Conclusions:

The ganglion cell complex thickness may be affected by outer retinal thickness, and there is individual variation in the outer retinal thickness. Therefore, when determining the ganglion cell complex, it seems necessary to consider the outer retinal thickness as well. We propose the ratio as a suitable parameter to account for individual variations in outer retinal thickness.

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