Knowing glaucomatous nasal visual field abnormalities correspond to damage in the temporal raphe, researchers at Indiana University School of Optometry set out to find a way to quantify those abnormalities. They found optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans customized for the temporal raphe captured retinal nerve fiber bundle abnormalities in 25 of the 29 subjects with a known glaucoma diagnosis.

As a novel screening approach, the researchers first built normative data using OCT scans from 30 young (ages 22 to 30) controls and 30 older (ages 49 to 75) controls. They then developed an analysis technique based on the reflectance of the nerve fiber bundles to compare with matrix perimetric data as a way to evaluate the efficacy of the technique.

In addition to identifying abnormalities in the glaucoma group, the scans revealed reflectance abnormalities in eight glaucoma patients who had mild to no perimetric mean deviation abnormality. “The findings support the potential of raphe imaging in detecting early glaucomatous damage,” the study concluded.

Ashimatey BS, King BJ, Malinovsky VE, Swanson WH. Novel technique for quantifying retinal nerve fiber bundle abnormality in the temporal raphe. Optom Vis Sci. 2018;95(4)309-17.