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Alteration of retinal layers in healthy subjects over 60 years of age until nonagenarians

Authors Altay L, Jahn C, Arikan Yorgun M, Caramoy A, Schick T, Hoyng CB, den Hollander AI, Fauser S

Received 16 March 2017

Accepted for publication 27 May 2017

Published 16 August 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1499—1503


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Lebriz Altay,1 Cheryl Jahn,1 Mücella Arikan Yorgun,1 Albert Caramoy,1 Tina Schick,1 Carel B Hoyng,2 Anneke I den Hollander,2 Sascha Fauser1

1Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Purpose: To assess alterations of retinal layers in healthy subjects over 60 years old.
Methods: Retinal layers of 160 healthy subjects (aged 60–100 years) without any retinal pathology were imaged using spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Mean thickness of retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell/inner plexiform layer (GCLIPL), inner nuclear layer, outer plexiform layer/outer nuclear layer, photoreceptor complex (PR) and retinal thickness (RT) were measured in a 3.45 mm grid. Correlations between age and layers were estimated and linear regression equations were calculated. Different age-groups (60–69, 70–79, 80–89 years and nonagenarians, each group with 40 participants) were compared.
Results: Significant age-thickness correlations were observed for GCLIPL (P<0.001, r=-0.394), PR (P<0.001, r=-0.370) and RT (P<0.001, r=-0.290). A comparison between age groups 60–69 years and nonagenarians showed no significant thickness alteration of retinal nerve fiber layer (21.80±2.18 µm vs 22.82±2.97 µm, P=0.163), inner nuclear layer (37.23±3.02 µm vs 36.01±3.24 µm, P=0.07) and outer plexiform layer/outer nuclear layer (104.95±6.56 µm vs 104.23±7.59 µm, P=0.567), while GCLIPL (83.35±7.35 µm vs 74.38±9.09 µm), PR (83.03±3.31 µm vs 79.34±2.09 µm) and RT (330.64±12.63 µm vs 316.83±18.35 µm) showed a significant decrease (P<0.001 for all).
Conclusion: Our study provides normative data of alterations of retinal layers for persons aged 60 years to nonagenarians and indicates a continuous decrease of RT, PR, and GCLIPL. This data may be useful for clinical trials investigating macular diseases in older patients.

Keywords: nonagenarians, SDOCT, retinal thickness, very elderly, photoreceptor, healthy

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