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Original article
Influence of atypical retardation pattern on the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre distribution assessed by scanning laser polarimetry and optical coherence tomography
  1. W A Schrems,
  2. R Laemmer,
  3. L M Hoesl,
  4. F K Horn,
  5. C Y Mardin,
  6. F E Kruse,
  7. R P Tornow
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Wolfgang Andreas Schrems, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Schwabachanlage 6, Erlangen 91054, Germany; wolfgang.schrems{at}


Aim To investigate the influence of atypical retardation pattern (ARP) on the distribution of peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness measured with scanning laser polarimetry in healthy individuals and to compare these results with RNFL thickness from spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the same subjects.

Methods 120 healthy subjects were investigated in this study. All volunteers received detailed ophthalmological examination, GDx variable corneal compensation (VCC) and Spectralis-OCT. The subjects were divided into four subgroups according to their typical scan score (TSS): very typical with TSS=100, typical with 99≥TSS ≥91, less typical with 90≥TSS ≥81 and atypical with TSS ≤80. Deviations from very typical normal values were calculated for 32 sectors for each group.

Results There was a systematic variation of the RNFL thickness deviation around the optic nerve head in the atypical group for the GDxVCC results. The highest percentage deviation of about 96% appeared temporal with decreasing deviation towards the superior and inferior sectors, and nasal sectors exhibited a deviation of 30%. Percentage deviations from very typical RNFL values decreased with increasing TSS. No systematic variation could be found if the RNFL thickness deviation between different TSS-groups was compared with the OCT results.

Conclusions The ARP has a major impact on the peripapillary RNFL distribution assessed by GDx VCC; thus, the TSS should be included in the standard printout.

  • Scanning laser polarimetry/methods
  • tomography
  • optical coherence/methods
  • optic disc/anatomy & histology
  • optic nerve diseases/diagnosis
  • diagnostic techniques
  • ophthalmological
  • optic nerve
  • imaging
  • clinical trial

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  • Funding German Research Foundation SFB 539, ELAN-Fonds.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the University Eye Hospital Erlangen-Nuremberg.

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