Nevin Manimala Statistics

Normative Percentiles of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness and Glaucomatous Visual Field Loss

Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2023 Oct 3;12(10):13. doi: 10.1167/tvst.12.10.13.


PURPOSE: Circumpapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) measurement aids in the clinical diagnosis of glaucoma. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) machines measure RNFLT and provide normative color-coded plots. In this retrospective study, we investigate whether normative percentiles of RNFLT (pRNFLT) from Spectralis SD-OCT improve prediction of glaucomatous visual field loss over raw RNFLT.

METHODS: A longitudinal database containing OCT scans and visual fields from Massachusetts Eye & Ear glaucoma clinic patients was generated. Reliable OCT-visual field pairs were selected. Spectralis OCT normative distributions were extracted from machine printouts. Supervised machine learning models compared predictive performance between pRNFLT and raw RNFLT inputs. Regional structure-function associations were assessed with univariate regression to predict mean deviation (MD). Multivariable classification predicted MD, pattern standard deviation, MD change per year, and glaucoma hemifield test.

RESULTS: There were 3016 OCT-visual field pairs that met the reliability criteria. Spectralis norms were found to be independent of age, sex, and ocular magnification. Regional analysis showed significant decrease in R2 from pRNFLT models compared to raw RNFLT models in inferotemporal sectors, across multiple regressors. In multivariable classification, there were no significant improvements in area under the curve of receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC-AUC) score with pRNFLT models compared to raw RNFLT models.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results challenge the assumption that normative percentiles from OCT machines improve prediction of glaucomatous visual field loss. Raw RNFLT alone shows strong prediction, with no models presenting improvement by the manufacturer norms. This may result from insufficient patient stratification in tested norms.

TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Understanding correlation of normative databases to visual function may improve clinical interpretation of OCT data.

PMID:37844261 | DOI:10.1167/tvst.12.10.13

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