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C. Samarawickrama, J. J. Wang, S. C. Huynh, A. S. Pai, G. Burlutsky, P. Mitchell, Sydney Childhood Eye Study; Comparison of OCT Optic Nerve Parameters Between East Asian and Caucasian Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):425.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To examine the influence of ethnicity on optic nerve head and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) parameters, measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT), between East Asian and European Caucasian children aged 6 and 12 years.
Of 4118 children examined in the Sydney Childhood Eye Study from 34 randomly selected primary (1765 children predominantly aged 6 years) and 21 secondary (2353 children predominantly aged 12 years) schools during 2003-5, 3382 (82.1%) had OCT (Zeiss Stratus) data for analysis. "Fast" optic disc and RNFL scans were used. Ethnicity was determined from a parental questionnaire and defined only when both parents were of the same ethnicity. 762 (6 year old) and 1050 (12 year old) children were of European Caucasian ethnicity while 155 (6 year old) and 216 (12 year old) children were of East Asian ethnicity.
After adjusting for age, gender, axial length, birth weight and optic disc area, East Asian children had a similar mean vertical disc diameter to European Caucasian children (1.78mm vs 1.79mm and 1.88mm vs 1.89mm, respectively, for children aged 6 and 12 years; p>0.05 for both). However, East Asian children had a larger mean vertical cup diameter (0.84mm vs 0.59mm and 0.82mm vs 0.63mm, respectively; p<0.0001 for both) that resulted in a larger mean cup/disc ratio (0.48 vs 0.34 and 0.43 vs 0.33, respectively; p<0.0001 for both). Compared with European Caucasian children (101.95µm and 104.57µm for children aged 6 and 12 years, respectively), East Asian children had thicker mean average RNFL (105.45µm and 107.92µm, respectively; p=0.0006 and 0.0001) and thicker non-nasal RNFL quadrants in both age groups (p<0.01). The nasal RNFL quadrant was also thinner in East Asian children (p<0.002 for both).
Compared with European Caucasian children, East Asian children generally had a thicker RNFL and a significantly larger mean cup/disc ratio. Given reports of lower open angle glaucoma prevalence in persons of Asian background, these ethnic anatomical variations may contribute to our understanding of apparent racial differences in susceptibility to the development of primary open angle glaucoma. Confirmation in other studies will also be important, particularly using other optic nerve head imaging modalities and later generation OCT.
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