Effect of optic disk drusen on nerve fiber layer thickness measured by Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

S. Roh, R. J. Noecker, J. S. Schuman, J. J. Weiter, T. R. Hedges, M. R. Hee, J. R. Wilkins, J. G. Coker, C. A. Puliafito, J. G. Fujimoto, E. A. Swanson, C. Mattox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To evaluate the effect of optic nerve head (ONH) drusen on the nerve fiber layer (NFL) through the use of OCT. Methods. Prospective study was done on 26 eyes of 13 consecutive patients with ONH drusen and 43 eyes of 24 age-matched control subjects. Ophthalmologic examination, ONH and NFL photography. Humphrey visual fields and OCT were performed on these patients. Results. Of the 26 test eyes, 19 exhibited clinically visible ONH drusen. Seven patients had asymmetric ONH drusen, with no clinically visible ONH drusen in the contralateral eye. By OCT, the superior and inferior NFL was significantly thinner in the 19 eyes with visible ONH drusen than in the control group (p<0.001, unpaired t-Test). Increased NFL dropout was found in the eyes with visible drusen compared to the eyes that did not exhibit visible drusen (p<0.001). NFL loss was detected in the 7 eyes with no visible drusen compared to controls (p= 0.003 superiorly, p< 0.001 inferiorly). Visual fields corresponded to location of drusen and NFL thinning in 47% of eyes with visible ONH drusen (9/19), while diffuse NFL loss was detected in 58% of eyes through NFL photos (11/19). Conclusion. OCT is able to detect NFL thinning in eyes with ONH drusen, including clinically nonvisible ONH drusen. OCT appears to be a more sensitive and earlier indicator of NFL loss than visual fields or defects found through NFL photography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S1096
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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