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Negative refraction power causes underestimation of peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer thickness in spectral-domain optical coherence tomography tomography
  1. J Lee1,
  2. N R Kim1,
  3. H Kim2,
  4. J Han1,
  5. E S Lee1,
  6. G J Seong1,
  7. C Y Kim1
  1. 1Institute of Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  2. 2Department of Applied Statistics, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr E S Lee, Institute of Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, CPO Box 8044, Seoul 120-752, Korea; eslee.korea{at}


Background/aims Although studies using optical coherence tomography (OCT) reported that the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness of myopic eyes was thinner than those of normal controls, it was unclear if this finding indicated the difference in actual structural thickness or that created by sources affecting accuracy of OCT measurement. This study's aim was to evaluate the effect of refraction power on the measurement of the RNFL thickness using spectral-domain OCT.

Methods OCT scans to measure RNFL thickness were repeated in 15 cycloplegic eyes of 15 participants, while different refraction powers were induced by wearing soft contact lenses of eight different dioptres (−6 to +8).

Results Measured RNFL thicknesses decreased significantly with soft contact lenses of higher plus dioptres and increased with those of more minus dioptres. This finding was consistent with or without controlling factors including the signal strength and test–retest variability of the machine. Measurement of peripapillary RNFL thicknesses was not varied between scans performed with and without plano contact lenses.

Conclusions In spectral-domain OCT, RNFL thickness was underestimated in eyes with increasing negative refraction power and overestimated with increasing positive refraction power.

  • Myopia
  • retinal nerve fibre layer
  • optical coherence tomography
  • optic nerve
  • imaging
  • diagnostic tests/investigation

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  • Funding This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Programme through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (No 2009-0076736).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Ethical committee of Yonsei University College of Medicine.

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

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