PURPOSE: To investigate changes in the optic nerve head morphology after acute intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation during a dark room prone provocative test (DRPPT). DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Acute primary angle-closure (APAC) suspects underwent DRPPT. METHODS: Study participants stayed in a dark room for 2 hours with the forehead placed on a desk. At baseline and within 5 minutes after DRPPT, tonometry and enhanced depth imaging by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) were performed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in 3-dimensional optic nerve head topography. RESULTS: The study included 114 eyes of 65 participants with a mean age of 58.3±8.7 years and a mean IOP elevation of 10.1±10.9 mmHg during DRPPT. When all eyes were included, the mean value of most optic disc parameters did not change significantly, except for a decrease in the temporal minimal rim width (P = 0.005). By including only eyes with an IOP increase greater than 15 mmHg, the mean value of cup width (P = 0.001) and cup depth (P = 0.002) increased, whereas the lamina cribrosa (LC) thickness (P = 0.035), temporal minimal rim width (P = 0.001), and nasal minimal rim width (P < 0.001) decreased. The LC depth and Bruch's membrane opening (BMO) did not differ between the baseline and the end of DRPPT. An IOP increase was significantly associated with widening (P < 0.001; r = 0.46) and deepening (P < 0.001; r = 0.52) of the optic cup, thinning of the LC (P = 0.003; r = -0.35), temporal minimal rim width (P < 0.001; r = -0.34), and nasal minimal rim width (P < 0.001; r = -0.35). CONCLUSIONS: Angle-closure suspect eyes showed a widening and deepening of the optic cup, decrease in neuroretinal rim width, and thinning of the LC after a darkness-induced IOP increase of >15 mmHg. The diameter of the BMO and position of the anterior LC surface remained unchanged. This suggests that a short-term IOP increase leads to a condensation of neuroretinal rim, prelaminar tissue, and LC, without major changes in the optic disc size and position of the anterior LC surface.
Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital University of Medical Science, Beijing, China.