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Correlation between peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and fundus autofluorescence in primary open-angle glaucoma

Authors Reznicek L, Seidensticker F, Mann T, Hübert I, Buerger A, Haritoglou C, Neubauer AS, Kampik A, Hirneiss C, Kernt M

Received 28 May 2013

Accepted for publication 5 July 2013

Published 19 September 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 1883—1888

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S49112

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Lukas Reznicek,* Florian Seidensticker,* Thomas Mann, Irene Hübert, Alexandra Buerger, Christos Haritoglou, Aljoscha S Neubauer, Anselm Kampik, Christoph Hirneiss, Marcus Kernt

Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: To investigate the relationship between retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and retinal pigment epithelium alterations in patients with advanced glaucomatous visual field defects.
Methods: A consecutive, prospective series of 82 study eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma and advanced glaucomatous visual field defects were included in this study. All study participants underwent a full ophthalmic examination followed by visual field testing with standard automated perimetry as well as spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for peripapillary RNFL thickness and Optos wide-field fundus autofluorescence (FAF) images. A pattern grid with corresponding locations between functional visual field sectors and structural peripapillary RNFL thickness was aligned to the FAF images at corresponding location. Mean FAF intensity (range: 0 = black and 255 = white) of each evaluated sector (superotemporal, temporal, inferotemporal, inferonasal, nasal, superonasal) was correlated with the corresponding peripapillary RNFL thickness obtained with SD-OCT.
Results: Correlation analyses between sectoral RNFL thickness and standardized FAF intensity in the corresponding topographic retina segments revealed partly significant correlations with correlation coefficients ranging between 0.004 and 0.376 and were statistically significant in the temporal inferior central field (r = 0.324, P = 0.036) and the nasal field (r = 0.376, P = 0.014).
Conclusion: Retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities correlate with corresponding peripapillary RNFL damage, especially in the temporal inferior sector of patients with advanced glaucomatous visual field defects. A further evaluation of FAF as a potential predictive parameter for glaucomatous damage is necessary.

Keywords: glaucoma, fundus autofluorescence, FAF, retinal nerve fiber layer, RNFL, optical coherence tomography, OCT, imaging

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