Br J Ophthalmol doi:10.1136/bjo.2009.177899
  • Clinical science

Anatomical and functional impairment of the retina and optic nerve in patients with anorexia nervosa without vision loss

Press Release
  1. George N Papadimitriou2
  1. 11st Department of Ophthalmology, University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece
  2. 21st Department of Psychiatry, University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marilita M Moschos, 6, Ikarias Street, Ekali, 14578, Athens, Greece; moschosmarilita{at}
  • Accepted 18 July 2010
  • Published Online First 19 October 2010


Aim The aim of this cross-sectional study is to evaluate the macular and retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness, as well as the electrical activity of the macula in female patients suffering from anorexia nervosa (AN) without visual failure.

Material and methods 13 female patients (26 eyes) suffering from AN without visual failure and 20 age and sex-matched healthy female controls (40 eyes) were studied. For the measurement of the macula thickness and the electrical activity of the macula, the optical coherence tomography (OCT) and the multifocal electroretinogram were used respectively.

Results The visual acuity, as well as the visual fields, the colour vision testing and the dark adaptation test of all patients were normal. However, the mean foveal thickness was 140.04 μm (vs 150.85 in the control group, p=0.005), and the RNFL thickness was limited to 116.42 μm in the superior area (vs 123.15 in the control group, p=0.372) and 121.08 μm in the inferior area (vs 137.6 in the control group, p<0.001) around the optic nerve. Also, the mean P1 response density amplitude of the foveal area was 159.04 nV/deg2 (vs 292.43 in the control group, p<0.0001), and the perifoveal area was 79.04 nV/deg2 (vs 82.63 in the control group, p=0.118).

Conclusion The present study shows that in patients with AN, even without visual failure there is a decrease in macular and RNFL thickness, as well as a decrease in the electrical activity of the macula.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Athens University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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