Macular thickness and aging in retinitis pigmentosa

Department of Ophthalmology, New Taipei City Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Optometry and vision science: official publication of the American Academy of Optometry (Impact Factor: 1.6). 03/2012; 89(4):471-82. DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31824c0b0b
Source: PubMed


This study was designed to analyze macular tomography in patients of different ages with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and correlate their visual function with macular thickness, which was measured by optical coherence tomography.
In all, 75 RP patients and 75 controls were stratified into three age groups and macular thickness was measured by optical coherence tomography. The tomography was subdivided into three circular zones, four quadrants, and nine areas for analysis. Ophthalmic examinations, which involved ophthalmoscopic examinations, dark adaptation tests, visual acuities, visual field examinations, electrooculography, and color sense discrimination tests, were performed.
Macular thickness of the RP patients decreased in the middle age group (45- to 55-year old), whereas the oldest group showed an increased thickness. The thickness of the outer inferior area remained virtually unchanged, whereas the thickness of the inner temporal area showed the most fluctuation with age. In terms of circular sections, the most dramatic changes in macular thickness were observed in the fovea, and the aging effect decreased outward to the outer ring. Furthermore, the thickness of the fovea was more important than the thickness of the inner ring and the outer ring for electrooculography, visual acuity, and color sense discrimination in RP patients.
In middle age RP patients, the macular thickness decreased, whereas an increased thickness was observed in patients older than 55 years. In addition, the inner temporal area was the most fragile, and the outer inferior area was the least affected in patients with RP.

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