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Ricardo Villanueva, Christopher Le, Zhuolin Liu, Furu Zhang, Laurence Magder, Daniel X Hammer, Osamah Saeedi; Cell – Vessel Mismatch in Glaucoma: Correlation of Ganglion Cell Layer Soma and Capillary Densities. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(13):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.13.2.
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The purpose of this study was to characterize the relationship between retinal ganglion cell layer (GCL) soma density and capillary density in glaucomatous eyes.
Six glaucoma subjects with known hemifield defects and 6 age-matched controls were imaged with adaptive optics – optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT) at 6 locations: 3 degrees, 6 degrees, and 12 degrees temporal to the fovea above and below the midline. GCL soma density and capillary density were measured at each location. Coefficients of determination (pseudo R2) and slopes between GCL soma and capillary density were determined from mixed-effects regressions and were compared between glaucoma and control subjects, between more and less affected hemifield in subjects with glaucoma, and between subjects with early and moderate glaucoma, both in a local, bivariate model and then a global, multivariable model controlling for eccentricity and soma size.
The global correlation between GCL soma and capillary density was stronger in control versus subjects with glaucoma (R2 = 0.59 vs. 0.22), less versus more affected hemifields (R2 = 0.55 vs. 0.01), and subjects with early versus moderate glaucoma subjects (R2 = 0.44 vs. 0.18). When controlling for eccentricity and soma size, we noted an inverse soma-capillary density local relationship in subjects with glaucoma (−388 ± 190 cells/mm2 per 1% change in capillary density, P = 0.046) and more affected hemifields (−602 ± 257 cells/mm2 per 1% change in capillary density, P = 0.03).
An inverted soma-capillary density local relationship in areas affected by glaucoma potentially explains weaker global correlations observed between GCL soma and capillary density, suggesting cell–vessel mismatch is associated with the disease.
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