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Visual acuity and perimacular retinal layers detected by optical coherence tomography in patients with retinitis pigmentosa
  1. Toshihiko Matsuo,
  2. Noriko Morimoto
  1. The Department of Ophthalmology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama City, Japan
  1. Correspondence to: Dr T Matsuo Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama City 700-8558, Japan; matsuot{at}


Background: The remaining retinal neurones or layered structure in the degenerating retina have been the prerequisite for epiretinal or subretinal retinal prostheses.

Aim: To detect the layered structure in the eyes of patients with retinitis pigmentosa by optical coherence tomography.

Methods: In a prospective non-comparative study, 115 eyes of 58 consecutive patients with retinitis pigmentosa underwent optical coherence tomography to obtain horizontal and vertical retinal cross-section images at the centre of the macula. The number of high-reflectance retinal layers, one, two or three layers, was tested to determine whether it correlates with best-corrected visual acuity.

Results: The best-corrected visual acuity was significantly better in the eyes in which more retinal layers were detected (p<0.001, Kruskal–Wallis test, p<0.05, Tukey–Kramer test). The best-corrected visual acuity in the right eye and in the left eye was correlated with each other (p<0.001, Spearman rank correlation test) and decreased with age.

Conclusions: Optical coherence tomography can be used to obtain information regarding the retinal layer structure in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, and may be used as a clinical test to assess the feasibility of retinal prostheses in future.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Published Online First 21 February 2007

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