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Change in optic nerve head topography in healthy volunteers: an 11-year follow-up
  1. Mika Harju1,
  2. Leena Kurvinen1,
  3. Jukka Saari1,
  4. Eija Vesti1,2
  1. 1Helsinki University Eye Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mika Harju, Helsinki University Eye Hospital, Haartmaninkatu 4 C, PO Box 220, 00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland; mika.harju{at}


Aim To study longitudinal changes in optic nerve head (ONH) topography in healthy volunteers.

Methods One eye each of 36 healthy volunteers was prospectively followed for 11 (7–13) years with the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph I (HRT I). All eyes had normal visual fields, non-glaucomatous ONHs, no defects on red-free nerve fibre layer photographs and intraocular pressure (IOP) <22 mm Hg. During the follow-up, no eye developed glaucoma; visual fields remained normal, and no longitudinal changes appeared in nerve fibre layers assessed from red-free photographs or ONHs assessed from stereophotographs. The median baseline and follow-up IOPs were comparable (15 mm Hg, range 10–20 mm Hg; and 16 mm Hg; range 10 to 22 mm Hg, respectively; p=0.38). Images were re-evaluated with HRT III and ONHs graded as normal, borderline or glaucomatous with the Moorfield Regression Analysis (MRA).

Results Significant changes in HRT parameters indicating increased ONH cupping were detected in cup area (p=0.013), cup-to disc area ratio (p=0.015), rim area (p=0.015), mean cup depth (p=0.006) and cup shape measure (p<0.001). With the MRA classification, nine eyes (9/31, 29%) had changed for the worse in the global or any of the sector classifications.

Conclusion Age-dependent changes occur in ONH topography detectable with the HRT.

  • Optic nerve head topography
  • Heidelberg Retina Tomograph
  • normals
  • progression
  • optic nerve
  • imaging

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  • Funding Financial support was provided by Silmäsäätiö (The Eye Foundation), the Mary och C. Ehrnrooths Stiftelse, Glaukooma tukisäätiö LUX (the Glaucoma Foundation LUX), and the Helsinki University Hospital Research Fund.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Helsinki Eye Hospital Ethics Committee.

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

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