The purpose of this article is to investigate the long-term retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) status and determinants of RNFL thinning after an episode of unilateral primary acute angle closure (AAC).
This cross-sectional study analyzed the medical records of consecutive patients with a single episode of unilateral AAC from 1999 to 2009 in Hong Kong. The peripapillary RNFL thickness was correlated with age, gender, presenting intraocular pressure (IOP), time to laser iridotomy, time to cataract extraction, follow-up duration, as well as the last IOP, vertical cup-to-disc ratio (CDR), and vision. The fellow uninvolved eye was used as a proxy comparison of RNFL loss in the attack eye.
In 40 eligible patients, the mean age was 68.3 ± 8.7 years with a male-to-female ratio of 1:7. The mean presenting IOP was 49.2 ± 14.0 mm Hg and the time from presentation to laser iridotomy was 6.7 ± 6.9 days. Forty percent of subjects received a cataract extraction at 3.2 ± 2.9 years after the attack. The last IOP, CDR, and LogMAR vision were 16.0 ± 3.8 mm Hg, 0.6 ± 0.2, and 0.6 ± 0.6 LogMAR units, respectively, at 7.9 ± 2.4 years. The RNFL thickness in the attack eye (69.2 ± 19.1 μm) was 25.2 ± 17.9% thinner than the fellow eye (93.0 ± 17.8 μm) at 7.5 ± 2.9 years post-AAC. Using univariate analysis, the last vertical CDR (odds ratio [OR] = 17.2, P = 0.049) and LogMAR visual acuity (VA) (OR = 6.6, P = 0.03) were the only significant predictors for RNFL thinning whereas none of the other covariates showed significant associations (P > 0.1).
At 7.5 years following unilateral AAC, the RNFL thickness was 25% thinner than the fellow eye. CDR enlargement and poor VA were the only significant predictors for RNFL loss.