Adaptive optics imaging of healthy and abnormal regions of retinal nerve fiber bundles of patients with glaucoma

Monica F. Chen, Toco Y.P. Chui, Paula Alhadeff, Richard B. Rosen, Robert Ritch, Alfredo Dubra, Donald C. Hood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Purpose. To better understand the nature of glaucomatous damage of the macula, especially the structural changes seen between relatively healthy and clearly abnormal (AB) retinal regions, using an adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscope (AO-SLO).

Methods. Adaptive optics SLO images and optical coherence tomography (OCT) vertical line scans were obtained on one eye of seven glaucoma patients, with relatively deep local arcuate defects on the 10-2 visual field test in one (six eyes) or both hemifields (one eye). Based on the OCT images, the retinal nerve fiber (RNF) layer was divided into two regions: (1) within normal limits (WNL), relative RNF layer thickness within mean control values ±2 SD; and (2) AB, relative thickness less than —2 SD value.

Results. As seen on AO-SLO, the pattern of AB RNF bundles near the border of the WNL and AB regions differed across eyes. There were normal-appearing bundles in the WNL region of all eyes and AB-appearing bundles near the border with the AB region. This region with AB bundles ranged in extent from a few bundles to the entire AB region in the case of one eye. All other eyes had a large AB region without bundles. However, in two of these eyes, a few bundles were seen within this region of otherwise missing bundles.

Conclusions. The AO-SLO images revealed details of glaucomatous damage that are difficult, if not impossible, to see with current OCT technology. Adaptive optics SLO may prove useful in following progression in clinical trials, or in disease management, if AO-SLO becomes widely available and easy to use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-681
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Adaptive optics
  • Glaucoma
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Retinal nerve fiber layer


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