Physiological variation of segmented OCT retinal layer thicknesses is short-lasting

L.J. Balk, M. Mayer, B.M.J. Uitdehaag, A. Petzold

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The application of spectral domain optical coherence tomography as a surrogate for neurodegeneration in a range of neurological disorders demands better understanding of the physiological variation of retinal layer thicknesses, which may mask any value of this emerging outcome measure. A prospective study compared retinal layer thicknesses between control subjects (n = 15) and runners (n = 27) participating in a 10-km charity run. Three scans were performed using an eye-tracking function (EBF) and automated scan registration for optimal precision at (1) baseline, (2) directly after the run, and (3) following a rehydration period. Retinal layer segmentation was performed with suppression of axial retinal vessel signal artifacts. Following the run, there was an increase in the relative retinal nerve fibre layer (p = 0.018), the combined inner plexiform/ganglion cell layer (p = 0.038), and the outer nuclear layer (p = 0.018) in runners compared to controls. The initial increase of thickness in the outer nuclear layer of runners (p < 0.0001) was likely related to (noncompliant) rehydration during exercise. Following a period of rest and rehydration, the difference in thickness change for all retinal layers, except the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) (p < 0.05), disappeared between the two groups. There is a quantifiable change in the axial thickness of retinal layersthat which can be explained by an increase in the cellular volume. This effect may potentially be caused by H
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3109-3114
    JournalJournal of Neurology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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