Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and scanning laser polarimetry (GDx ECC) are non-invasive methods used to assess retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, which may be a reliable tool used to monitor axonal loss in multiple sclerosis (MS). The objectives of this study are (1) to compare OCT with the GDx ECC; (2) to assess and compare the RNFL thickness in subgroups of MS. Ophthalmologic examination and RNFL assessment by OCT and GDx were performed in 65 MS patients (26 relapsing-remitting (RRMS), ten secondary-progressive (SPMS), 29 primary-progressive (PPMS)). Twenty-eight patients (43%) had a history of optic neuritis (ON). Adjustments were made for age and disease duration. RNFL thickness was reduced in eyes with previous ON (p < 0.01). No differences were found between PPMS and relapse-onset MS. OCT and GDx ECC measurements were moderately correlated (rho = 0.73, p < 0.01). Visual field-mean deviation (MD) values correlated with OCT means (r = 0.44, p < 0.01) and GDx ECC TSNIT average (r = 0.41, p < 0.01). In patients without previous ON, EDSS correlated with MD (r = -0.36, p < 0.01), visual field-pattern standard deviation (PSD) (r = 0.30, p < 0.05), OCT means (r = -0.31-0.30, p < 0.05) and macular volume (r = -0.37, p < 0.01). For MSIS-29 physical impact score, significant correlations were found with MD (r = -0.48, p < 0.01) and PSD (r = 0.48, p < 0.01). Conclusions: No differences between PPMS and relapse-onset MS subgroups were found. RNFL thickness was reduced in eyes with previous ON. Although OCT and GDx ECC findings were moderately correlated and showed significant correlations with measures of visual function in patients without previous ON, EDSS correlated significantly with visual and OCT measures, but not with GDx ECC.

Multiple sclerosis, Optical coherence tomography, Retinal nerve fiber layer, Scanning laser polarimetry
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-010-5589-1, hdl.handle.net/1765/27994
Journal of Neurology: official journal of the European Neurological Society
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Siepman, T.A.M, Wefers Bettink-Remeijer, M, & Hintzen, R.Q. (2010). Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in subgroups of multiple sclerosis, measured by optical coherence tomography and scanning laser polarimetry. Journal of Neurology: official journal of the European Neurological Society, 257(10), 1654–1660. doi:10.1007/s00415-010-5589-1