Purpose: To determine the effect of statins and aspirin on the rate of progression of optic nerve parameters in open-angle glaucoma (OAG) suspects, as defined by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (CSLO).
Methods: Data of OAG suspects who had undergone at least two CSLO tests at the Beckman Vision Center at UCSF from January 2001 to June 2006 was collected. We conducted a retrospective chart review of 149 eyes from 76 patients considered suspect for glaucoma based on a cup-to-disc ratio >0.5, but with normal intraocular pressures (IOP) and visual fields. Subjects included glaucoma suspects who took statin drugs or aspirin for greater than 23 months. The control group consisted of suspects who never used statins or aspirin. The data were analysed using mixed effects regression.
Results: When comparing controls with the statin group there were significant differences in the progression of multiple CSLO parameters per year, including rim volume (−13.7% controls, +26.7% statin only; P = 0.0156), retinal nerve fibre layer cross-sectional area (−12.2% controls, +24.3% statin only; P = 0.0051), and mean global retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (−10.3% controls, +26.6% statin only; P = 0.0114), with adjustment for age, gender, race, IOP, central corneal thickness, refractive error and multiple systemic comorbidities. No significant differences were found when comparing subjects taking a statin plus aspirin or aspirin alone with the controls.
Conclusions: Statin drugs may be associated with slowed progression of optic nerve parameters in glaucoma suspects as measured by CSLO.