Retinal Blood Vessel Distribution Correlates With the Peripapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness Profile as Measured With GDx VCC and ECC

Hemma Resch, Ivania Pereira, Stephanie Weber, Stephan Holzer, Georg Fischer, Clemens Vass
Journal of Glaucoma 2015, 24 (5): 389-95

PURPOSE: Aim of the present study was to evaluate whether there is a correlation between retinal blood vessel density (RVD) and the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness profile.

METHODS: RNFL thickness of 106 healthy subjects was measured using scanning laser polarimetry, GDx variable corneal compensation (VCC), and GDx enhanced corneal compensation (ECC). A proprietary software was developed in MATLAB to measure the peripapillary retinal vessels using scanning laser ophthalmoscopy fundus images, centered on the optic disc measured by Cirrus spectral domain optical coherence tomography. The individual retinal vessel positions and thickness values were integrated in a 64-sector RVD profile and intrasubject and intersubject correlations were calculated.

RESULTS: The mean R value±SD for intrasubject correlation between RVD and RNFL thickness measured with GDx VCC and GDx ECC was 0.714±0.157 and 0.629±0.140, with 105 of 106 subjects presenting significant correlations. In the intersubject linear regression analysis for GDx VCC, 33 of 64 (52%) sectors presented a significant Pearson correlation coefficient between RNFL thickness and RVD values, with a mean R value of 0.187±0.135 (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Peripapillary RNFL thickness profiles correlate with the RVD over 50% of the sectors and might explain up to 26% of the interindividual variance of the peripapillary RNFL thickness values as measured with GDx VCC. To our opinion, taking into account RVD might reduce interindividual variation in peripapillary RNFL thickness profiles measured with scanning laser polarimetry.

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