Lamina Cribrosa Appears to Predict Risk of RNFL Thinning

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Lamina cribrosa (LC) defects appear to independently predict risk of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thinning, according to a longitudinal cohort study involving 111 individuals. Investigators found that glaucoma progressed more quickly and was worse in those with LC defects whose corneas were thinner.

Participants averaged 70 years of age and either had LC defects (51 eyes of 43 patients) or did not (83 eyes of 68 patients). Investigators observed them for an average of 3.5 years, looking at RNFL thickness every 6 months. Among the results:

  • Average rate of global RNFL loss was twice as fast in patients with LC defects than those without.
  • RNFL thinning occurred more quickly in sectors of the eye found to have LC defects vs areas not affected.
  • Thinner corneas was the only factor linked with a faster RNFL loss in eyes with LC defects.
  • There was no link between average intraocular pressure measured during follow-up and the mean rate of RNFL thinning in eyes with LC defects.

The authors concluded that LC findings may shed light on the prospect and rate of glaucoma progression.



Moghimi SZangwill L, Manalastas P, et al. Association between lamina cribrosa defects and progressive retinal nerve fiber layer loss in glaucoma. [Published online ahead of print February 7, 2019]. JAMA Ophthalmol. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.6941.


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