Combining ganglion cell topology and data of patients with glaucoma to determine a structure-function map

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PURPOSE: To introduce techniques for deriving a map that relates visual field locations to optic nerve head (ONH) sectors and to use the techniques to derive a map relating Medmont perimetric data to data from the Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph.

METHODS: Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated relating each visual field location (Medmont M700) to rim area and volume measures for 10 degrees ONH sectors (HRT III software) for 57 participants: 34 with glaucoma, 18 with suspected glaucoma, and 5 with ocular hypertension. Correlations were constrained to be anatomically plausible with a computational model of the axon growth of retinal ganglion cells (Algorithm GROW). GROW generated a map relating field locations to sectors of the ONH. The sector with the maximum statistically significant (P < 0.05) correlation coefficient within 40 degrees of the angle predicted by GROW for each location was computed. Before correlation, both functional and structural data were normalized by either normative data or the fellow eye in each participant.

RESULTS: The model of axon growth produced a 24-2 map that is qualitatively similar to existing maps derived from empiric data. When GROW was used in conjunction with normative data, 31% of field locations exhibited a statistically significant relationship. This significance increased to 67% (z-test, z = 4.84; P < 0.001) when both field and rim area data were normalized with the fellow eye.

CONCLUSIONS: A computational model of axon growth and normalizing data by the fellow eye can assist in constructing an anatomically plausible map connecting visual field data and sectoral ONH data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3249-56
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


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