Assessment of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in healthy, full-term neonates

Adam L. Rothman, Monica B. Sevilla, Sharon F. Freedman, Amy Y. Tong, Vincent Tai, Du Tran-Viet, Sina Farsiu, Cynthia A. Toth, Mays A. El-Dairi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose To measure average retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thicknesses in healthy, full-term neonates. Design Descriptive research to develop normative data. Methods Healthy infants born between 37 and 42 weeks postmenstrual age were imaged with hand-held spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. A custom script segmented the RNFL; the fovea and optic nerve center were manually selected. A second script measured the average RNFL thickness along the papillomacular bundle, defined as the arc from -15 degrees to +15 degrees on the axis from the optic nerve to fovea, with radii of 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, and 1.7 mm from the center of the optic disc. Shapiro-Wilk W tests assessed these measurements for normality to determine the age-appropriate radial distance for subsequent analyses. Average RNFL thicknesses for four temporal 45-degree sectors (superior temporal, temporal superior, temporal inferior, and inferior temporal) and the temporal quadrant were calculated and compared to demographic parameters for all infants. Results Fifty full-term infants were adequately imaged for RNFL analysis. RNFL thicknesses at 1.5 mm radial distance from the optic nerve were the most normally distributed. While there was a trend toward greater mean superior temporal RNFL thickness for both black and Hispanic vs white infants (128 ± 27 μm, 124 ± 30 μm, and 100 ± 19 μm, respectively, P =.04 for both comparisons), there were no other significant differences noted in RNFL thicknesses by race, sex, gestational age, or birth weight. Conclusions We present RNFL thickness measurements for healthy, full-term infants that may serve as normative data for future analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-811.e2
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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