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Evaluation of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer and Ganglion Cell Layer Thickness in Alzheimer’s Disease Using Optical Coherence Tomography

Authors Jindahra P, Hengsiri N, Witoonpanich P, Poonyathalang A, Pulkes T, Tunlayadechanont S, Thadanipon K, Vanikieti K

Received 11 August 2020

Accepted for publication 9 September 2020

Published 2 October 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 2995—3000


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Panitha Jindahra,1 Nitchanan Hengsiri,1 Pirada Witoonpanich,1 Anuchit Poonyathalang,2 Teeratorn Pulkes,1 Supoch Tunlayadechanont,1 Kunlawat Thadanipon,3 Kavin Vanikieti2

1Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; 3Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence: Kavin Vanikieti Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital
Mahidol University, 270 Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel +662 201 1526
Fax +662 201 2729

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of using optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), by measuring the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and the ganglion cell layer and inner plexiform layer (GCL-IPL).
Material and Methods: This was a single-center, cross-sectional study. The study included 29 patients with AD (mean age ± standard deviation: 75.61 ± 6.24 years) and 29 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. All participants underwent cognitive evaluations using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test. Measurements of the RNFL thickness, as well as GCL-IPL thickness, were obtained for all participants using OCT. Both RNFL and GCL-IPL parameters were adjusted for best-corrected visual acuity, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia.
Results: The mean RNFL thickness was significantly thinner in the AD group than in the control group (85.24 and 90.68 μm, respectively, adjusted P=0.014). The superior quadrant was thinner in the AD group (adjusted P=0.033). The thicknesses did not differ significantly between groups for the other quadrants. The mean GCL-IPL thickness in the AD (68.81 μm) was significantly thinner than that in the controls (76.42 μm) (adjusted P=0.014). Overall, there was a negative correlation between age and mean RNFL; and between age and GCL-IPL thickness (r=− 0.338, P=0.010 and r=− 0.346, P=0.008, respectively).
Conclusion: The mean RNFL and GCL-IPL thicknesses were thinner in the AD group than in the control group. These findings suggest that RNFL and GCL-IPL thickness may be biological markers for AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, optical coherence tomography, retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell layer, dementia

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