The effect of ageing on retinal nerve fibre layer thickness: An evaluation by scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation

Stefano Da Pozzo, Pierluigi Iacono, Roberta Marchesan, Daniela Minutola, Giuseppe Ravalico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To evaluate whether a significant age-related thinning of the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) is measurable by means of scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation (GDx-VCC) in a sample of healthy eyes. Method: A sample of 324 eyes of 324 healthy subjects (mean age 56 ± 14 years, range 21-85 years) underwent a complete ophthalmic evaluation, standard automated perimetry and RNFL scan with the GDx-VCC. Temporal-superior-nasal-inferior-temporal (TSNIT), superior and inferior average (SA and IA) values provided on the printout were collected and their mean value averaged from all eyes and also after separating the eyes by gender and by age decades. The values of the three parameters were plotted against age and linear regression was calculated. Results: Ageing is associated with a significant RNFL thinning (0.08 μ, 0.16 μ and 0.12 μ per year for TSNIT, SA and IA, respectively; p <0.001). Analysis showed a similar association with age decade (p <0.001 on anova). For the TSNIT average, a 9.5% thinning from baseline values was estimated for a 65-year lifespan. Corresponding values for SA and IA were 16.2% and 11.7%, respectively. Conclusions: Analysis by GDx-VCC confirmed previous reports about significant age-related RNFL thinning. However, a lower rate per year was found, probably because GDx-VCC measurements are much more reliable than those obtained with the previous generation of polarimeters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-379
Number of pages5
JournalActa Ophthalmologica Scandinavica
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Keywords

  • Glaucoma
  • Optic nerve
  • Retinal nerve fibre layer
  • Scanning laser polarimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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