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Normal diameter of the optic nerve using magnetic resonance imaging: A retrospective Nigerian study.

PURPOSE: The variations in the diameter of the optic nerve (ON) are important clinically in the diagnosis of conditions associated with the ON such as raised intracranial pressure, meningioma, optic neuritis, and Grave's orbitopathy. This study determined the normal diameters of the ON in adult Nigerians seen in a Hospital in Delta State.

METHODS: Axial T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging images of 150 patients (75 males and 75 females) aged ≥20 years were retrieved from the hospital's radiological database and retrospectively used to evaluate the diameter of the ON on axial and coronal sections. The data were analyzed and summarized using descriptive statistics. The mean diameters were compared based on gender, side, and age groups and correlated with age using inferential statistics. The significance level was considered at 5%.

RESULTS: The diameter of the ON measured 0.45 ± 0.07 cm on the coronal section, besides 0.50 ± 0.07 cm, and 0.46 ± 0.06 cm at 0.3 cm and 0.8 cm from the posterior pole of the globe, respectively, on the axial slices. The diameters were significantly larger in males than in females ( P < 0.05) and were symmetrical. However, they lacked significant association with age ( P > 0.05). The three diameters measured had a significant positive correlation with each other ( P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The study provides a normal range of ON diameter in the study center to aid in the diagnosis of raised intracranial pressure and pathologies involving the nerve and its sheath.

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