• Written By: Howard Pomeranz, MD, PhD

    This retrospective study found that ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness may predict axonal damage in nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) within six weeks of onset.

    Subjects included 22 patients with NAION who underwent SD-OCT.

    In the acute phase (between two and six weeks from the NAION acute episode), none of the patients showed atrophy of the optic disc, although GCC average and GCC minimum thickness demonstrated early damage in 55% and 77% of patients, respectively.

    At six months of follow-up, 90% of patients had RNFL below normal limits, as did 93% below GCC average and 100% below GCC minimum. The researchers also found significant relationships of GCC in the acute phase with visual field index and mean deviation in both acute and chronic (at least six months after the acute episode) phases.

    These results suggest that ganglion cell thickness measurements may help predict which NAION patients may suffer permanent vision loss during the months following acute vision loss.