• Written By: Scott K. Schultz, MD

    Using swept-source OCT, investigators provide more evidence that the lamina cribrosa is thinner in patients with normal tension glaucoma (NTG).

    Additionally, they found that the lamina cribrosa is thinner in eyes with NTG and visual field defects compared with NTG eyes without visual field defects.

    The authors imaged the eyes of 51 NTG patients (102 eyes) with unilateral visual defect and normal subjects. However, the method for measuring the lamina cribrosa was subjective as it was based on individual measurements for each eye and was not confirmed by histology or other verification. Still, the study strongly suggests that the lamina cribrosa is another clinically significant abnormality in glaucoma patients that could have diagnostic and prognostic implications.

    But to make it feasible for everyday clinical use it would be beneficial to create a validated and automated method for measuring the lamina cribrosa.

    While many studies support the link between a thinner lamina cribrosa and glaucoma, longitudinal studies are required to determine which comes first. Is it the thinner lamina cribrosa that leads to glaucoma and visual field defects or is the thinner lamina cribrosa a result of glaucoma damage? Once this question is answered, new avenues for potential therapeutic strategies will open.