Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness between Normal Eyes & Glaucoma

Basimah S Al-Otaibi


Background: Screening of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) is valuable in the early stages of glaucoma, because RNFL changes may precede functional loss.

Aim to study: The purpose of this study was to assess the RNFL thickness in normal and glaucomatous eyes. Difference in the RNFL thickness was also determined between the groups.

Methods: Sixty healthy subjects and 30 subjects with glaucoma participated in this cross-sectional study. Healthy volunteers free of glaucoma were divided into 2 groups, younger (age ≤ 35 years) and older (age > 35 years) participants. All subjects underwent complete ophthalmic evaluation, including visual acuity, refraction, slit-lamp, intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement, and RNFL thickness measurement by Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Unpaired t-test was performed to compare RNFL thickness between the eyes of younger and older participants. One way analysis (ANOVA) test was employed to compare RNFL thickness among the 3 groups (normal young, normal old & glaucomatous eyes).

Results: Mean values of RNFL thickness in the younger, older and glaucoma populations were 109.3±15 µm (95% CI 103.7-114.06 µm), 106.8 ± 14 µm (95% CI 101.49-112.02) and 92.8± 29 µm (95% CI 82.11-103.47), respectively. There was a significant difference among the 3 groups (p=0.0045). The RNFL was thinner in older participants than younger participants (p=0.0067).

Conclusions: Screening of the RNFL is valuable in the early stages of glaucoma.


Glaucoma, Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness

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