Structural differences between optic nerve head (ONH) parameters in glaucomatous and non-glaucomatous eyes has been documented, however the association between such parameters in patients with different disease stages is yet to be elucidated. We investigated the relationship between different laminar and prelaminar ONH structures using enhanced depth imaging spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (EDI OCT) in a population with and without glaucoma. In this observational case-control study, we prospectively enrolled healthy individuals and glaucomatous patients with different disease stages. All participants underwent EDI OCT imaging (Heidelberg Engineering). Following ONH parameters were measured on serial vertical B-scans by two examiners masked to patient’s clinical data: lamina cribrosa (LC) and prelaminar neural tissue (PLNT) thicknesses, Bruch’s membrane opening (BMO) and cup depth. Associations between cup depth, and laminar and prelaminar parameters were evaluated controlling for possible confounding factors such as axial length and disc size. Sixty-four eyes of 64 patients were included (30 with glaucoma and 34 controls). Eyes with glaucoma had significantly lower mean LC and PLNT thickness, and greater mean cup depth than controls (p<0.01). There was a significant negative association between PLNT thickness and cup depth in glaucomatous eyes (R2 = 0.158, p = 0.029). In addition, LC thickness correlated significantly with cup depth (R2 = 0.135, p = 0.045). Eyes with thinner LCs presented deeper cups. Overall, cup depth and BMO had the best and LC thickness had the worst intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility grading. In conclusion, significant associations were seen between cup depth, LC and PLNT thickness. Eyes with deeper cups not only had less neural tissue, but also thinner LCs, independent of disc size and axial length. Best reproducibility was found for prelaminar parameters compared to deeper ONH structures.
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