The effect of axial length on the thickness of intraretinal layers of the macula

Andrea Szigeti, Erika Tátrai, Boglárka Enikõ Varga, Anna Szamosi, Delia Cabrera DeBuc, Zoltán Zsolt Nagy, János Németh, Gábor Márk Somfai

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14 Scopus citations


Purpose The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of axial length (AL) on the thickness of intraretinal layers in the macula using optical coherence tomography (OCT) image analysis. Methods Fifty three randomly selected eyes of 53 healthy subjects were recruited for this study. The median age of the participants was 29 years (range: 6 to 67 years). AL was measured for each eye using a Lenstar LS 900 device. OCT imaging of the macula was also performed by Stratus OCT. OCTRIMA software was used to process the raw OCT scans and to determine the weighted mean thickness of 6 intraretinal layers and the total retina. Partial correlation test was performed to assess the correlation between the AL and the thickness values. Results Total retinal thickness showed moderate negative correlation with AL (r = -0.378, p = 0.0007), while no correlation was observed between the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell layer (GCC), retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and AL. Moderate negative correlation was observed also between the thickness of the ganglion cell layer and inner plexiform layer complex (GCL+IPL), inner nuclear layer (INL), outer plexiform layer (OPL), outer nuclear layer (ONL) and AL which were more pronounced in the peripheral ring (r = -0.402, p = 0.004; r = -0.429, p = 0.002; r = -0.360, p = 0.01; r = -0.448, p = 0.001). Conclusions Our results have shown that the thickness of the nuclear layers and the total retina is correlated with AL. The reason underlying this could be the lateral stretching capability of these layers; however, further research is warranted to prove this theory. Our results suggest that the effect of AL on retinal layers should be taken into account in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0142383
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 6 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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