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D. Liu, X. Chen, N. Li, Y. Liu, R. Pan, M. Li; Evaluation of Changes in Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer of Experimental Glaucoma Rat Eyes by Optic Coherence Tomography in vivo . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3372.
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To evaluate the changes of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in the chronic glaucoma rats using optic coherence tomography (OCT) and the histological examination.
Chronic elevation in intraocular pressure (IOP) was induced unilaterally by laser trabecular meshwork photocoagulation in 48 female Wister rats, the opposite eye served as a control. The IOP was measured before laser photocoagulation and weekly thereafter, with Tono–Pen Tonometer. OCT was performed in the 3rd, 6 th and 9 th week, at the same time, IOP was evaluated in both eyes. The OCT images were analyzed for retinal nerve fiber layer. Eyes were nucleated and retina was examined histologically at the 3rd, 6 th and 9 th weeks, respectively.
IOP was elevated chronically and moderately in laser photocoagulation eyes. The mean IOP was 25.56 ± 4.32 mmHg, 26.64±4.64 mmHg and 27.64±4.28 mmHg in laser treated eyes and 12.75±3.78 mmHg, 13.12±3.64 mmHg and 12.98±3.59 mmHg in the control eyes at the 3rd, 6th and 9th week, respectively. The RNFL thickness, measured by OCT, was 67.39±5.91µm, 53.42±5.64µm and 44.35±5.76µ in laser treated eyes and 76.23±6.78µm, 78.64±6.15µm and 77.64±6.63µm in the control eye at the 3rd, 6th and 9th week respectively. Histological examination showed that the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer was 64.38±6.54µm, 51.47±6.41µm and 42.10±6.10µm in the glaucoma eyes and 80.32±5.87µm, 79.69±5.69µm and 80.78±5.84µm in the control eyes at the 3rd, 6th and 9th week respectively. There was a linear correlation between the RNFL thickness measured by OCT and by histological method in the chronic glaucomatous rat model (r=0.932, p<0.001).
An experimental rat glaucoma model was established successfully by laser trabecular photocoagulation. In the hypertensive eyes, the retinal nerve fiber layer thinned with the passage of time. OCT appeared to be a reliable method to evaluate the changes of the RNFL thickness in vivo.
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