Axon deviation in the human lamina cribrosa
- aCardiff Eye Unit, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF4 4XW, bDepartment of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University College London, London EC1V 9EL, cDepartment of Ophthalmology, Queens Medical Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham NG7 2UH
- J E Morgan, Cardiff Eye Unit, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XW.
- Accepted 9 January 1998
AIMS To examine the course taken by individual retinal ganglion cell axons through the human lamina cribrosa.
METHODS Retinal ganglion cell axons were labelled using the retrograde tracer horseradish peroxidase applied directly to the optic nerve in two normal human eyes removed during the course of treatment for extraocular disease.
RESULTS A majority of axons took a direct course through the lamina cribrosa but a significant minority, in the range 8–12%, deviated to pass between the cribrosal plates in both central and peripheral parts of the optic disc.
CONCLUSIONS It is postulated that these axons would be selectively vulnerable to compression of the lamina cribrosa in diseases such as glaucoma in which the intraocular pressure is increased.