Automated Evaluation of Choroidal Thickness and Minimum Rim Width Thickness in Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

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The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare peripapillary choroidal thickness (pCT) and macular choroidal thickness (CT), Bruch membrane opening-minimum rim width (BMO-MRW), retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, and optic disc area among nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) eyes, the contralateral unaffected eyes, and healthy control eyes.


Twenty-six patients diagnosed with NAION (29 affected and 21 unaffected eyes) and 29 healthy matched control individuals (29 eyes) were analyzed by swept-source optical coherence tomography. All participants underwent scanning by Spectralis optical coherence tomography to analyze BMO-MRW, RNFL thickness, and optic disc area.


Mean pCT in the NAION eyes, unaffected fellow eyes, and the control group was 130.5 ± 72.1 μm, 149.6 ± 75.7 μm, and 103.7 ± 36.7 μm, respectively (analysis of variance [ANOVA], P = 0.04). Mean macular CT in the NAION eyes, unaffected fellow eyes, and the control group was 226.1 ± 79.8 μm, 244.6 ± 81.4 μm, and 189.9 ± 56.4 μm, respectively (ANOVA, P = 0.03). Mean and all sectorial RNFL and BMO-MRW thickness values were significantly thinner in the NAION eyes vs the unaffected fellow and control eyes (P ≤ 0.00). The unaffected fellow eyes in NAION patients showed a significantly thicker average and sectorial BMO-MRW values than control eyes (P ≤ 0.02) except for the nasal sector (P = 0.09). Mean optic disc area derived from BMO analysis was not significantly different among groups (ANOVA, P = 0.86).


The fellow unaffected eyes in patients with NAION showed significantly thicker mean peripapillary and macular choroidal and BMO-MRW thicknesses than disease-free control eyes. No differences in the mean optic disc area were found. Both a thick peripapillary choroid and a thick neuroretinal rim might contribute to the development of NAION or possibly be a secondary phenomenon.

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