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Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Changes in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Compared to Healthy Controls: A Meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: This study investigated changes in retinal nerve fiber layers (RNFL) in patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compared to healthy control patients, using optical coherence tomography.

METHODS: PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases were systematically searched for published articles comparing RNFL between patients with COPD and healthy controls. Standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was computed to compare continuous variables.

RESULTS: Average RNFL thickness was significantly reduced in COPD patients compared to healthy controls (SMD = -0.31, 95% CI = -0.48 to -0.14, P = 0.0004, I2 = 0%). Average RNFL thickness did not differ significantly between patients with mild/moderate COPD and healthy controls (SMD = -0.17, 95% CI = -0.39 to 0.04, P = 0.12, I2 = 2%), while a statistically significant reduction in average RNFL thickness was noticed in patients with severe COPD compared to healthy controls (SMD = -0.72, 95% CI = -1.23 to -0.21, P = 0.006, I2 = 83%). Average RNFL thickness was significantly higher in patients with mild/moderate COPD compared to patients with severe COPD (S MD = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.29 to 1.09, P = 0.0008, I2 = 66%).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis showed that RNFL thickness was decreased in patients with COPD compared to healthy controls. Patients diagnosed with severe COPD seem to be more affected and have thinner RNFL. [ Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina 2024;55:XX-XX.] .

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