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Patterns of retinal nerve fiber layer loss in multiple sclerosis patients with or without optic neuritis and glaucoma patients

Item Type:Article
Title:Patterns of retinal nerve fiber layer loss in multiple sclerosis patients with or without optic neuritis and glaucoma patients
Creators Name:Bock, M. and Brandt, A.U. and Doerr, J. and Kraft, H. and Weinges-Evers, N. and Gaede, G. and Pfueller, C.F. and Herges, K. and Radbruch, H. and Ohlraun, S. and Bellmann-Strobl, J. and Kuchenbecker, J. and Zipp, F. and Paul, F.
Abstract:OBJECTIVE: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has gained increasing attention in multiple sclerosis (MS) research and has been suggested as outcome measure for neuroprotective therapies. However, to date it is not clear whether patterns of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) loss are different in MS compared to other diseases such as glaucoma and data on RNFLT loss in MS patients with or without optic neuritis (ON/NON) have remained inconsistent or even contradictory. METHODS: In this large cross-sectional study we analyzed the patterns of axonal loss of retinal ganglion cells in MS eyes (n=262) with and without history of ON (MS/ON: 73 eyes; MS/NON: 189 eyes) and patients eyes with glaucomatous optic disc atrophy (GA: n=22; 39 eyes) in comparison to healthy control eyes (HC: n=406 eyes). RESULTS: We found that significant average and quadrant RNFLT loss is detectable by OCT in both MS and GA patients compared to healthy controls (p<0.01). The age- and gender adjusted average and quadrant RNFLT did not differ significantly between MS and GA patients (p>0.05). Average (p<0.0001) and quadrant (p<0.05) RNFL thinning is significantly more severe in MS/ON versus MS/NON eyes, and the extent of RNFL thinning varies across quadrants in MS/ON eyes with the highest degree of RNFLT loss in the temporal quadrant (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: RNFLT reduction across all four quadrants in MS patients as a whole as well as in MS/NON eyes argues for a diffuse neurodegenerative process. Superimposed inflammatory attacks to the optic nerve may cause additional axonal damage with a temporal preponderance. Future studies are necessary to further evaluate the capacity of OCT to depict disease specific damage patterns.
Keywords:Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurodegeneration, Neuroprotection, Optical Coherence Tomography, Optic Neuritis, Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness, Retinal Quadrants
Source:Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
ISSN:0303-8467
Publisher:Elsevier (The Netherlands)
Volume:112
Number:8
Page Range:647-652
Date:October 2010
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.04.014
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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