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Relationship between progression of visual field damage and choroidal thickness in eyes with normal-tension glaucoma


  • Competing/conflicts of interest: None declared.

  • Funding sources: None declared.

Dr Kazuyuki Hirooka, Department of Ophthalmology, Kagawa University Faculty of Medicine, 1750-1 Ikenobe, Miki, Kagawa 761-0793, Japan. Email:


Background:  To measure choroidal thickness in normal eyes and in patients with normal-tension glaucoma using enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography and evaluate the association between choroidal thickness and progression of visual field damage.

Design:  Cross-sectional comparative study.

Participants:  A total of 62 eyes of 62 normal subjects and 45 eyes of 45 normal-tension glaucoma patients were examined.

Methods:  The choroid was measured at the fovea and 3 mm nasal and temporal from the fovea. In the separate study, both eyes of the patients with normal-tension glaucoma were included in the analyses. Visual fields were measured with automated perimetry. Changes in mean deviation per year (dB/year), that is, mean deviation slope, were calculated.

Main Outcome Measures:  Difference in the choroidal thickness between the normal subjects and the patients with normal-tension glaucoma. The relationship between mean deviation slope and the choroidal thickness in eyes with normal-tension glaucoma was analysed.

Results:  Compared with normal subjects, the choroidal thickness was significantly thinner in eyes with normal-tension glaucoma at 3 mm nasal from the fovea (P = 0.02). There was a significant correlation between the choroidal thickness at 3 mm nasal from the fovea and the mean deviation slope (Pearson's r = 0.413; P < 0.001).

Conclusion:  The decrease in the thickness of the choroid at 3 mm nasal from the fovea in eyes with normal-tension glaucoma may be associated with progressive visual field loss. Thus, choroidal abnormalities may play a role in the pathogenesis of normal-tension glaucoma.

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