Purpose: Evaluation of the effect of prelaminar tissue thickness on visualization of the lamina cribrosa (LC) using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Methods: The optic nerve head (ONH) region was scanned using OCT. The quality of visible LC microstructure was assessed subjectively using a grading system and objectively by analyzing the signal intensity of each scan's superpixel components. Manual delineations were made separately and in 3-dimensions quantifying prelaminar tissue thickness, analyzable regions of LC microstructure, and regions with a visible anterior LC (ALC) boundary. A linear mixed effect model quantified the association between tissue thickness and LC visualization.
Results: A total of 17 healthy, 27 glaucoma suspect, and 47 glaucomatous eyes were included. Scans with thicker average prelaminar tissue measurements received worse grading scores (P = 0.007), and superpixels with low signal intensity were associated significantly with regions beneath thick prelaminar tissue (P < 0.05). The average prelaminar tissue thickness in regions of scans where the LC was analyzable (214 μm) was significantly thinner than in regions where the LC was not analyzable (569 μm; P < 0.001). Healthy eyes had significantly thicker average prelaminar tissue measurements than glaucoma or glaucoma suspect eyes (both P < 0.001), and glaucoma suspect eyes had significantly thicker average prelaminar tissue measurements than glaucoma eyes (P = 0.008). Significantly more of the ALC boundary was visible in glaucoma eyes (63% of ONH) than in healthy eyes (41%; P = 0.005).
Conclusions: Thick prelaminar tissue was associated with impaired visualization of the LC. Healthy subjects generally had thicker prelaminar tissue, which potentially could create a selection bias against healthy eyes when comparing LC structures.
- Image analysis
- Optic nerve head
- Severity of Illness Index
- Reproducibility of Results
- Follow-Up Studies
- Intraocular Pressure
- Middle Aged
- Optic Nerve Diseases/diagnosis
- Tomography, Optical Coherence/methods
- Optic Disk/pathology
- Imaging, Three-Dimensional
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience