Glaucomatous neuroretinal rim loss can occur in a sequence of sectors with the temporal inferior disc sector as the first and the nasal superior disc sector as the last to be affected. This study evaluated whether the position of the central retinal vessel trunk is correlated with this pattern of glaucomatous rim loss. Morphometrically stereo colour optic disc photographs of 157 glaucomatous eyes and 67 normal eyes were checked. In the normal and glaucomatous eyes, the central retinal vessel trunk was located eccentrically in the upper nasal quadrant of the optic disc. Taking into account the vertically oval disc shape, the distance to the central vessel trunk was largest for the temporal inferior disc region and shortest for the nasal superior disc area. An abnormal form of the glaucomatous neuroretinal rim was found in eyes with an atypical location of the retinal vessel trunk. Also in these glaucomatous eyes, the rim loss was usually most and least marked in that sector with the longest and shortest distance, respectively, to the central retinal vessel trunk. One could infer that the sequence of rim loss in glaucoma is dependent upon the distance of the region to the central retinal vessel trunk; the further away the region from the retinal vessel trunk, the more likely it is to be affected by rim loss. This suggest that the distance from the central retinal vessels is one factor among others that is correlated with the regional vulnerability of the neuroretinal rim to the glaucomatous process.
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