Myopia affects retinal nerve fiber layer measurements as determined by optical coherence tomography

Frederick M. Rauscher, Navneet Sekhon, William J. Feuer, Donald L. Budenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine whether increasing myopia is associated with thinner peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) when measured by Stratus optical coherence tomography (OCT). DESIGN: Observational cross-sectional study. METHODS: Normal subjects with myopia underwent refractometry, axial length measurement (IOL Master), optic nerve examination, and OCT (12 fast RNFL scans/eye). The more myopic eye was chosen as the study eye. Correlation coefficients were calculated for demographic and optic disk characteristics, and degree of myopia. RESULTS: Mean age (n=27) was 34±8 years (range: 23 to 54). Mean cup-to-disk ratio was 0.38 with 41% large and 59% medium disk size. Eight subjects had peripapillary atrophy and 6 had disk tilt. Mean spherical equivalent was -5.40 D (range: -1.25 to -11.25), with mean axial length of 25.65 mm (range: 22.63 to 27.92). No significant associations were found between RNFL thickness and age (P=0.20), sex, disk size, cup-to-disk ratio, tilt, or peripapillary atrophy. RNFL thickness decreased with higher axial length (overall R=-0.70, P<0.001, superior R=-0.60, P=0.001, and inferior R=-0.60, P=0.001), and higher spherical equivalent (overall R=-0.52, P=0.005, superior R=-0.41, P=0.03, and inferior R=-0.45, P=0.02). Overall RNFL thickness decreased 7 μm/1 mm of axial length, and 3 μm/1 D sphere. CONCLUSIONS: Moderately myopic subjects tend to have thin peripapillary RNFL, mainly at the superior and inferior poles, as measured by Stratus OCT. This phenomenon should be considered when interpreting a glaucoma suspect's Stratus OCT measurements compared with the normative database.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-505
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of glaucoma
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Glaucoma
  • Myopia
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal nerve fiber layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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