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Jens Reinhard, Susanne Trauzettel-Klosinski; Nasotemporal Overlap of Retinal Ganglion Cells in Humans: A Functional Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(4):1568-1572. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0313.
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purpose. A zone of overlap along the vertical retinal meridian where ipsi- and contralaterally projecting ganglion cells intermingle has been demonstrated histologically in nonhuman primates. The widening of the zone of overlap in the foveal region was thought to produce a foveal sparing extending 1.5° in the blind hemifield in human hemianopia. The functional relevance of the nasotemporal overlap is still unclear and cannot be shown definitely by conventional perimetry, because of insufficient spatial accuracy, light-scattering effects, and insufficient fixation control. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the vertical field border by a perimetric method that does not have these shortcomings.
methods. A scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) was used to scan vertical triplets of dots along the vertical field border in 20 patients (36 eyes) with homonymous hemianopia without macular sparing. Stimuli and fundus were imaged simultaneously for fixation monitoring.
results. None of the patients showed a field border that coincided exactly with the vertical midline. In 34 eyes, the seeing area extended from the vertical meridian into the blind hemifield and formed a vertical strip of perception. None of the patients showed additional foveal sparing. Twenty-two eyes showed a concave shape of the seeing area within the foveal region of the blind hemifield.
conclusions. Our results show that the nasotemporal overlap exists in humans. It consists of a strip of intact perception reaching into the blind hemifield. The concave shape can be explained by the size and distribution of the receptive fields of the retinal ganglion cells.
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