Discrete macular cell layers correlated with visual sensitivity loss

June 6, 2011

Macular inner retinal layer (mIRL) is linked to visual sensitivity in glaucoma patients

Macular inner retinal layer (mIRL) is linked to visual sensitivity in glaucoma patients, according to a study featured in Eye.

A team led by Dr T. S. Varjaranant, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois, USA, compared the thickness of discrete macular cell layers, the thickness of the retinal nerve fibre layer (mRNFL) and visual field sensitivity between 28 glaucoma patients and 22 control patients. Stratus optical coherence tomography macular scans were used to measure thickness of macular retinal nerve fibre layer (mRNFL), macular inner retinal layer (mIRL) and macular outer retinal layer (mORL). Visual sensitivity loss was calculated by mean deviation (MD) using Humphrey Visual Field Analyser. To evaluate structure–function, a mixed model analysis was used.

The findings demonstrated that the mean mIRL thickness was significantly lower in advanced glaucoma than in the control group. Mean mIRL thickness was strongly linked to MD. There were no significant results recorded between mean mORL thickness in early and advanced glaucoma and the control group.

Although there was no difference in macular structure–function between advanced and early glaucoma, both glaucoma groups showed that mIRL thickness was related to visual sensitivity loss.