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A. E. Lundvall Nilsson, U. Lennman, E. Parmér, Y. Wennström, E. Chen; Estimation of Retinal Nerve Fibre Layer (RNFL) Thickness With Scanning Laser Polarimetry (SLP) in Healthy Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):498.
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Early diagnosis of glaucoma is important to prevent visual handicap. RNFL thickness decreases in glaucoma and SLP has been valuable in the diagnosis of adult glaucoma but data concerning RNFL in children are scarce and age-related control data are lacking. The purpose of this study was to obtain RNFL data in healthy children using the SLP, as a basis for paediatric glaucoma diagnosis and monitoring.
Fifty-five (25 boys and 30 girls) healthy children are included. The mean age was 9.1 ± 3.6 years with a range of 4 to 15 years. The children are recruited from families and friends of hospital personnel and from children attending the Swedish visual screening program (at 4 and 5.5 years of age). All children had normal findings at ophthalmologic examination and normal optic discs. Peripapillar RNFL was measured with SLP (GDx VCC). The recordings were obtained with undilated pupils and dim ambient light. The influence of age on the average RNFL thickness (TSNIT) was studied with regression analysis. The average thickness of the right and the left eye and of boys and girls were compared.
The study showed a slight but significant decrease in RNFL with increasing age. The following regression line was obtained:RNFL thickness (µm) = 63.9 - 0.377 age (years), R2 = 0.04, p = 0.03The thickness did not differ between boys and girls (p = 0.976). There was no significant difference between the right and the left eye (P = 0.719).
The present study showed that there was an age-related thinning of the RNFL. However, there was great individual variation among these healthy eyes, and more subjects are needed in each age group to establish a base for comparison with RNFL values of glaucomatous eyes in children.
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