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C. Rosenberg, D. Howard; Racial Variation of Macular Thickness on Optical Coherence Tomography in Healthy Eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1089.
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Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is now a standard imaging modality for evaluating retina and optic nerve disease. However, little is known about the differences in normal macular thickness among various races. Any potential variation may be important in interpreting the test results and therefore treatment of patients. Some studies have shown thinner maculas in African American patients versus Caucasian patients, but no studies have been done between other ethnicities. Our goal was to assess any difference in healthy macular thickness on OCT between Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian populations.
Macular thickness was measured in 10 Caucasian, 10 Hispanic, and 10 Asian eyes with the Zeiss Stratus OCT (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA). All patients were between the ages of 18 and 40 and had no macular or known systemic disease. Macular thickness was measured by Fast Macular Thickness and analyzed with Retinal Thickness (single eye) at 6 meridians per eye.
The average macular thickness of Hispanic patients was 227.9 + 23.1 microns, Asian patients 218.1 + 21.6 microns, and Caucasian patients 223.6 + 13.5 microns. By ANOVA analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (p=0.546).
There appears to be no difference in baseline macular thickness among Hispanic, Caucasian, and Asian patients. OCT exams can likely be interpreted similarly between these ethnic groups. However, care should be taken in comparing OCT results across other ethnicities and additional studies need to be undertaken to evaluate any additional differences.
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