3D Microstructure of the Healthy Non-Human Primate Lamina Cribrosa by Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging

Anoop Sainulabdeen, Yoav Glidai, Mengfei Wu, Mengling Liu, Palaiologos Alexopoulos, Hiroshi Ishikawa, Joel S. Schuman, Gadi Wollstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The lamina cribrosa (LC) has an important role in the pathophysiology of ocular diseases. The purpose of this study is to characterize in vivo, noninvasively, and in 3D the structure of the LC in healthy non-human primates (NHPs). Methods: Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT; Leica, Chicago, IL) scans of the optic nerve head (ONH) were obtained from healthy adult rhesus macaques monkeys. Using a previously reported semi-automated segmentation algorithm, microstructure measurements were assessed in central and peripheral regions of an equal area, in quadrants and depth-wise. Linear mixed-effects models were used to compare parameters among regions, adjusting for visibility, age, analyzable depth, graded scan quality, disc area, and the correlation between eyes. Spearmen’s rank correlation coefficients were calculated for assessing the association between the lamina’s parameters. Results: Sixteen eyes of 10 animals (7 males and 3 females; 9 OD, 7 OS) were analyzed with a mean age of 10.5 ± 2.1 years. The mean analyzable depth was 175 ± 37 μm, with average LC visibility of 25.4 ± 13.0% and average disc area of 2.67 ± 0.45mm2. Within this volume, an average of 74.9 ± 39.0 pores per eye were analyzed. The central region showed statistically significantly thicker beams than the periphery. The quadrant-based analysis showed significant differences between the superior and inferior quadrants. The anterior LC had smaller beams and pores than both middle and posterior lamina. Conclusions: Our study provides in vivo microstructure details of NHP’s LC to be used as the foundation for future studies. We demonstrated mostly small but statistically significant regional variations in LC microstructure that should be considered when comparing LC measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • lamina cribrosa (LC)
  • non-human primate (NHP)
  • optical coherence tomography (OCT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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