Author: Lucy Q. Shen, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Purpose: To compare optic nerve head (ONH) measurements in glaucomatous eyes with paracentral visual field (VF) loss to eyes with peripheral VF loss and controls.

Methods: Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) patients with early paracentral VF loss or isolated peripheral VF loss as well as control subjects underwent ONH imaging with swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) imaging with spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT). Minimum rim width at Bruch’s membrane opening (BMO-MRW), lamina cribrosa depth (LCD), and RNFL thickness were compared among the glaucoma and control groups.

Results: Twenty-nine eyes from 29 OAG patients (15 early paracentral and 14 isolated peripheral VF loss) and 20 eyes of 20 control subjects were included. The early paracentral and isolated peripheral VF loss groups had similar VF mean deviation (MD) (–5.3±2.7 dB, –3.7±3.0 dB, p=0.15, respectively). Global BMO-MRW was lower in OAG eyes than in controls (193.8±40.0 vs. 322.7±62.2 μm, p<0.001) but similar between eyes with early paracentral VF loss and those with isolated peripheral VF loss (187.6 ±43.4 vs. 200.6±36.3 μm; p>0.99). In contrast, the minimal BMO-MRW was lower in eyes with early paracentral loss (69.0±33.6 μm) than in eyes with isolated peripheral loss (107.7±40.2 μm; p=0.03) or control eyes (200.1±40.8 μm; p<0.001). Average and thinnest RNFL thickness did not differ between OAG groups (p=0.61 and 0.19, respectively). Horizontal and vertical LCD did not differ among the OAG groups and controls (p=0.80 and 0.82, respectively). Multivariable linear regression analysis among OAG cases confirmed the association between lower minimal BMO-MRW and early paracentral VF loss (β=–38.3 μm; 95% CI, –69.8 μm to –6.8 μm; p=0.02) after adjusting for age, gender, MD and disc size.

Conclusions: Thin minimal BMO-MRW may represent a new structural biomarker associated with early glaucomatous paracentral VF loss.