When assessing primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) suspects and patients, clinicians may want to take a quick look at the lamina cribrosa (LC) on the initial visit, according to a new study. Researchers looked at 101 early-stage POAG eyes at baseline and after at least three and a half years of follow-up and found a correlation between baseline LC measurements and visual field progression.

Using swept-source OCT scanning of the LC and at least five reliable standard automated perimetry tests per patient, investigators from South Korea calculated the LC depth (LCD), as well as the difference between the LCD and mean anterior laminar insertion depth—what they called the LC curvature index (LCCI)—to help quantify the LC bowing in each patient.

After crunching the numbers, they found a greater visual field mean deviation slope was associated with a greater baseline mean adjusted LCCI. Analyzing the results based on participant age also revealed that significantly more visual field progression with mean adjusted LCCI changes occurred in those ages 69 or younger.  

“This suggests that, in POAG eyes with greater posterior bowing of the LC, the axons of retinal ganglion cells may be more vulnerable to further glaucomatous injury,” the study concludes.

Ha A, Kim TJ, Girard MJA, et al. Baseline lamina cribrosa curvature and subsequent visual field progression rate in primary open-angle glaucoma. Ophthalmology. June 23, 2018.  [Epub ahead of print].