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Chunwei Zhang, Andrew J Tatham, Robert N Weinreb, James Zexi Zhang, Linda M Zangwill, Felipe A Medeiros; Relationship between retinal ganglion cell layer thickness and estimated retinal ganglion cell counts in the glaucomatous macula. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4758.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the relationship between macular ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (mGCIPL) thickness and estimated macular retinal ganglion cell (RGC) counts in glaucoma.
A cross-sectional study of 77 healthy, 154 suspect and 159 glaucomatous eyes from the Diagnostic Innovations in Glaucoma Study (DIGS). All eyes had 24-2 Standard Automated Perimetry (SAP) and optic nerve and macular imaging using Cirrus high definition optical coherence tomography (HDOCT). The total number of RGCs was estimated using a previously described model that utilizes SAP and OCT circumpapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (cpRNFL) measurements. The number of macular RGCs was estimated from the temporal cpRNFL and SAP test points within the central 10 degrees.
The average estimated macular RGC count in glaucomatous eyes was 306,010 ± 109,449 cells, which was significantly lower than the estimate of 520,678 ± 106,843 cells in healthy eyes (P<0.001). Glaucomatous eyes had 41% fewer estimated macular RGCs than healthy eyes and suspects 21% fewer. There was strong correlation between estimated macular RGC counts and mGCIPL thickness (R2 = 0.66; P < 0.001). Macular RGC counts performed better than average mGCIPL thickness in discriminating healthy and glaucomatous eyes with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve areas of 0.873 and 0.775, respectively (P = 0.015).
The strong association between estimated macular RGC counts and mGCIPL thickness and the better diagnostic performance of the macular RGC counts compared to mGCIPL thickness provides further evidence that estimates of RGC number from cpRNFL thickness and SAP sensitivity can be used to assess neural losses in glaucoma.
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