Retinal Ganglion Cell Count IDs Normal-Tension Glaucoma

Weighted RGC can assess normal-tension glaucoma damage and may be an index of progression

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Weighted retinal ganglion cell (RGC) count has higher potential than other parameters for differentiating normal eyes from those with glaucoma, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Mai Yamazaki, from Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan, and colleagues examined whether estimated RGC counts have a higher potential than other parameters for differentiating normal eyes from those with glaucoma. Data were included from 257 glaucoma patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG), including 80 with high-tension glaucoma (HTG) and 177 with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG).

The researchers found that the correlation coefficient was significant between weighted RGC count (wrgc) and all other parameters (0.94 with Humphrey field analyzer-measured mean deviation [MD]; 0.85 with circumpapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness [cpRNFLT]; 0.70 for microcirculation in the overall optic nerve head measured with laser speckle flowgraphy-measured mean blur rate [MBR] [overall MBR: MA]) (all P < 0.001). For differentiation of normal and all OAG eyes, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.989 for wrgc, 0.975 for MD, 0.953 for cpRNFLT, and 0.913 for MA (all P < 0.001). Compared with other parameters, wrgc had significantly higher diagnostic power (P < 0.05). For HTG and NTG eyes, the AUC was highest for wrgc.

"Structural and functional changes have unique characteristics in different types of OAG. Here, we demonstrated that wrgc could be used to evaluate NTG damage," the authors write. "This suggests that wrgc may also be a good index of glaucoma progression in both OAG and NTG."

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Updated on May 31, 2022

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