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Determinants of Macular Layers and Optic Disc Characteristics on SD-OCT: The Rhineland Study.

Translational vision science & technology

Authors: Matthias M Mauschitz, Frank G Holz, Robert P Finger, Monique M B Breteler

PURPOSE: To investigate variation and determinants of macular layers, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) and Bruch's membrane opening-minimum rim width (BMO-MRW) in the general population.

METHODS: In 1306 participants, we performed spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) scans of the macula, pRNFL, and BMO-MRW, and assessed their determinants using multivariable regression. Intraindividual interocular differences were analyzed using Spearman's rank correlation analysis.

RESULTS: Participant age ranged from 30 to 95 years (mean ± standard deviation, 56.1 ± 13.9) and 56% were women. Interocular correlation ranged from 0.63 to 0.93. Differences increased with age and were larger in persons with glaucoma or prior stroke. pRNFL and BMO-MRW decreased with increasing age. Except for RNFL, volumes of various inner macular layers and the outer nuclear layer (ONL) decreased with increasing age, more negative spherical equivalent (SE), and were lower in women compared to men. For some layers, age effects amplified over the life course. History of stroke was associated with smaller volumes of various layers, without reaching statistical significance. We found no association of further systemic parameters with any SD-OCT parameter.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide large-scale normative data from a Caucasian general population for various SD-OCT measures. Interocular variability increased with age and specific pathology. Factors, such as age, sex, refraction, and a history of stroke, were associated with various retinal assessments.

TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: In clinical routine, our findings should be considered on a per eye basis when interpreting SD-OCT volumes, pRNFL, or BMO-MRW to avoid confounded results.

PMID: 31183250

Participating cluster members