Effect of age on individual retinal layer thickness in normal eyes as measured with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

Research paper by Nazli N Demirkaya, Hille W HW van Dijk, Sanne M SM van Schuppen, Michael D MD Abràmoff, Mona K MK Garvin, Milan M Sonka, Reinier O RO Schlingemann, Frank D FD Verbraak

Indexed on: 14 Jun '13Published on: 14 Jun '13Published in: Investigative ophthalmology & visual science


To determine the effect of age on the thickness of individual retinal layers, measured with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), in a population of healthy Caucasians.One hundred and twenty subjects with an age ranging between 18 and 81 years were examined with SD-OCT. Mean layer thickness was calculated for seven retinal layers, in the fovea (region 1 of the 9 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study [ETDRS] regions); in the pericentral ring (ETDRS regions 2 to 5); and the peripheral ring (ETDRS regions 6 to 9) following automated segmentation using the Iowa Reference Algorithm. In addition, mean peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness was measured. The partial correlation test was performed on each layer to determine the effect of age on layer thickness, while correcting for spherical equivalent, sex, and Topcon image quality factor as confounders, followed by Bonferroni corrections to adjust for multiple testing.The thickness of the peripapillary RNFL (R = -0.332; P < 0.001); pericentral ganglion cell layer (R = -0.354, P < 0.001); peripheral inner plexiform layer (R = -0.328, P < 0.001); and foveal outer segment layer (R = -0.381, P < 0.001) decreased significantly with increasing age. Foveal RPE thickness (R = 0.467, P < 0.001) increased significantly with increasing age; other layers showed no significant differences with age.Several macular layers and the peripapillary RNFL thickness showed significant changes correlated with age. This should be taken into consideration when analyzing macular layers and the peripapillary RNFL in SD-OCT studies of retinal diseases and glaucoma.