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Aditya T. Hernowo, Christine C. Boucard, Nomdo M. Jansonius, Johanna M. M. Hooymans, Frans W. Cornelissen; Automated Morphometry of the Visual Pathway in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(5):2758-2766. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.10-5682.
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To establish whether primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is associated with a change in volume of the visual pathway structures between the eyes and the visual cortex.
To answer this question, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used in combination with automated segmentation and voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Eight patients with POAG and 12 age-matched control subjects participated in the study. Only POAG patients with bilateral glaucomatous visual field loss were admitted to the study. The scotoma in both eyes had to include the paracentral region and had to, at least partially, overlap. All participants underwent high-resolution, T1-weighted, 3-T MRI scanning[b]. Subsequently, VBM was used to determine the volume of the optic nerves, the optic chiasm, the optic tracts, the lateral geniculate nuclei (LGN), and the optic radiations. Analysis of covariance was used to compare these volumes in the POAG and control groups. The main outcome parameter of the measurement was the volume of visual pathway structures.
Compared with the controls, subjects with glaucoma showed reduced volume (P < 0.005) of all structures along the visual pathway, including the optic nerves, the optic chiasm, the optic tracts, the LGN, and the optic radiations.
POAG adversely affects structures along the full visual pathway, from the optic nerve to the optic radiation. Moreover, MRI in combination with automated morphometry can be used to aid the detection and assessment of glaucomatous damage in the brain.
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