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Confocal Laser Scanning Tomography of the Optic Disc in an average South Indian Population

1Berenstein T., 2George R., 2Thomas R., 2Muliyil J.,
1Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Fakultät für klinische Medizin Mannheim, Augenklinik (Mannheim)
2Christian Medical College Vellore, Department of Ophthalmology (Vellore)

Purpose: Using confocal laser scanning tomography, it was the purpose of the present study to evaluate the morphology of the optic nerve head in an unselected population group in South India.
Methods: The study included 63 subjects (39 females, 24 males) forming a population based sample, selected in a random manner. Mean age was 48.0 ± 9.1 years (range, 35.3 - 69.5 years), mean refractive error measured -0.07 ± 1.11 diopters (range, -4.50 to +2.50 diopters). Optic disc slides were morphometrically analyzed.
Results: Mean optic disc area as measured by confocal laser scanning tomography was 2.25 ± 0.54 mm2 (range, 1.30 mm2 - 4.06 mm2). It was statistically independent of age (p=0.78). Mean neuroretinal rim area was 1.65 ± 0.29 mm2. It was significantly and positively correlated with the optic disc size (correlation coefficient r=0.63; p<0.001). It was independent of optic cup size (p=0.36), and age (p=0.62). In all subjects included in the study, the rim was smallest in the temporal horizontal optic disc sector. Optic cup area was significantly and positively correlated with optic disc size (correlation coefficient r=0.85; p<0.001).
Conclusions: Most important difference in optic disc morphology between South Indians and Caucasians is the optic disc size being significantly larger in South Indians. No major differences exist for shape of the neuroretinal rim, and the correlations between disc size and cup size, and between disc size and neuroretinal rim area. In contrast to the planimetric evaluation of optic disc photographs, the confocal laser scanning tomographic measurements of the cup area are not correlated with the data of the neuroretinal rim.