Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness that leads to characteristic changes in the optic nerve head (ONH) region, such as nasalization of vessels. It is unknown whether the spatial location of this vessel shift inside the ONH occurs within the lamina cribrosa (LC) or the prelaminar tissue. The purpose of this study was to compare the location of the central retinal vessel trunk (CRVT) in the LC and prelaminar tissue in living healthy and glaucomatous eyes. We acquired 3-dimensional ONH scans from 119 eyes (40 healthy, 29 glaucoma suspect, and 50 glaucoma) using optical coherence tomography (OCT). The CRVT location was manually delineated in separate projection images of the LC and prelamina. We found that the CRVT in glaucoma suspect and glaucomatous eyes was located significantly more nasally compared to healthy eyes at the level of the prelamina. There was no detectable difference found in the location of the CRVT at the level of the LC between diagnostic groups. While the nasal location of the CRVT in the prelamina has been associated with glaucomatous axonal death, our results suggest that the CRVT in the LC is anchored in the tissue with minimal variation in glaucomatous eyes.
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