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Functional and Structural Changes of the Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer and Ganglion Cell Complex in Heavy Smokers

Authors Abdelshafy M, Abdelshafy A

Received 24 October 2019

Accepted for publication 13 January 2020

Published 12 February 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 397—404


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Marwa Abdelshafy, Ahmed Abdelshafy

Ophthalmology Department, Benha University, Benha, Egypt

Correspondence: Marwa Abdelshafy
Faculty of Medicine, Ophthalmology Department, Benha University, 1 El Amirafawzya Street, Benha, Qalubiya Governorate, Benha 13512, Egypt

Purpose: To assess the functional and structural changes in the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and the ganglion cell complex (GCC) in heavy smokers using pattern electroretinogram (PERG), photopic negative response(PhNR) and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).
Patients and Methods: Sixty eyes of 30 heavy smokers (at least 15 cigarettes/day for 10 years) (study group) and 60 eyes of 30 age and gender-matched healthy non-smoker subjects (control group) were included. After full ophthalmologic examination (PERG), (PhNR) using RETI-port/scan 21 (Roland Consult, Brandenburg, Germany) and (SD-OCT using Topcon 3D OCT model 2000 FA version.8.30) were tested for all participants. Statistical analysis was performed to compare GCC, RNFL thicknesses, PERG and phNR values between groups.
Results: The mean age was 36.67± 4.13 years in the study group and 36.0± 4.76 years in the control group. There were no statistical significant differences between the two groups regarding intraocular pressure (p=0.43), axial length (p=0.37), and central corneal thickness (p=0.86). There were significant differences of GCC thickness values between the study group (88.4± 6.6 μm) and control group (94.83± 5.25 μm) (p< 0.001). The mean RNFL values of study and control groups were 97.87± 5.88 and 106.43± 6.59 μm, respectively (p< 0.001). In the study group the superior and inferior quadrants of RNFL were significantly thinner, but there were no significant differences between the two groups in nasal and temporal quadrants. There were no significant differences of PERG-P50 amplitude (p=0.49) and latency (p=0.71); however, PERG-N95 amplitude and latency showed significant differences between the two groups (p< 0.001).There were significant differences of phNR amplitude and latency between the two groups (p< 0.001). Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that the PhNR, PERG amplitude and latency are the most important determinants for both RNFL and GCC thicknesses.
Conclusion: In heavy smokers RNFL thickness was decreased, the PhNR, PERG-N95 amplitudes were diminished and the implicit times were prolonged compared to non-smokers. PhNR and PERG reflect both dysfunction and loss of ganglion cells and their axons.

Keywords: GCL, nerve fiber layer, optical coherence tomography, pattern electroretinogram, photopic negative response

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