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Neil O'Leary, Donna M. Hutchison, Paul H. Artes, Marcelo T. Nicolela, Balwantray C. Chauhan; Rates Of Retinal Nerve Fibre Layer Thickness Change From Scanning Laser Polarimetry And Time-domain Optical Coherence Tomography In Glaucoma Patients And Control Subjects. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4162.
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To examine rates of change and variability of retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (RNFLT) measurements in glaucoma patients and healthy, age-similar control subjects with scanning laser polarimetry (SLP) in variable corneal compensation (VCC) and enhanced corneal compensation (ECC) modes, and with time-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Sixty-four glaucoma patients and 36 control subjects were examined with each technique every 6-months in a longitudinal prospective study. Follow-up series had ≥ 5 exams over ≥ 2 years with each technique. Only scans with image qualities above acceptable levels were used for analysis. Rates of globally-averaged RNFLT change and variability were estimated with linear regression. Measurement variability was compared to image quality and atypical birefringence patterns (ABP).
Subjects had a median of 9 scans per technique. Baseline and follow-up characteristics with median rates of RNFLT change are shown in the Table. Baseline age was not significantly different between patients and controls but baseline RNFLT values were. Rates of RNFLT change in glaucoma patients were not statistically significantly different to those in control subjects for VCC and ECC but were for OCT. In glaucoma patients, changes in ABP with time were strongly negatively correlated with RNFLT rates of change for VCC but not for ECC. In control subjects, no such relationship was found. For all imaging modalities, image quality was not a strong predictor of RNFLT variability.
These results suggest a slow rate of change of RNFLT and its associated retardance in these patients, possibly with most changes having occurred prior to study enrolment.
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