See also comment(s) by Florent Aptel •
PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between the degree of posterior bowing of the lamina cribrosa (LC) at baseline and the rate of subsequent visual field (VF) progression in eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). DESIGN: Prospective, observational study. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred one early-stage (VF mean deviation [MD], -5.0 to -0.01 dB) POAG eyes that met the following conditions: (1) follow-up longer than 3.5 years, (2) more than 5 reliable standard automated perimetry tests, and (3) medically well-controlled intraocular pressure during follow-up. METHODS: All participants underwent swept-source OCT scanning of the LC at baseline. The area enclosed by a vertical line at the anterior laminar insertion, anterior LC plane, and reference plane of Bruch's membrane opening (BMO) was divided by D (distance between the 2 cross-points made by vertical lines drawn from the anterior laminar insertion to the reference plane of BMO) to approximate the LC depth (LCD). The difference between the LCD and mean anterior laminar insertion depth was defined as the LC curvature index (LCCI). To consider the steepness of the LC curve, the adjusted LCCI (aLCCI) was calculated as LCCI divided by D and multiplied by 100. The mean LCD (mLCD), mean LCCI (mLCCI), and mean aLCCI (maLCCI) were computed by averaging the measurements on 12 radial scans. The subsequent MD slope and associated factors were analyzed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Lamina cribrosa parameters and subsequent MD slope. RESULTS: The participants' mean baseline MD was -3.8 ± 3.4 dB. The mean baseline mLCD, mLCCI, and maLCCI were 419.0 ± 111.2 μm, 76.4 ± 29.0 μm, and 4.8 ± 1.9, respectively. A greater MD slope was associated with a greater baseline maLCCI (P < 0.001). We found a statistically significant breakpoint for the maLCCI (4.12) above which a larger maLCCI showed a steeper MD slope (P < 0.001). Analysis by age revealed that significantly more VF progression with maLCCI changes occurred in the relatively younger group (≤69 years; P = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS: The baseline maLCCI showed a significant correlation with the rate of subsequent VF deterioration. This suggests that, in POAG eyes with greater posterior bowing of the LC, the axons of retinal ganglion cells may be more vulnerable to further glaucomatous injury.
Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.Full article