Macular thickness profile and its association with best-corrected visual acuity in healthy young adults

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Purpose: To describe the thickness profiles of the full retinal and outer retinal layers (ORL) at the macula in healthy young adults, and associations with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA).

Methods: In total, 1604 participants (19-30 years) underwent an eye examination that included measurements of their BCVA, axial length, and autorefraction. The retinal thickness at the foveal pit and at the nine Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study macular regions (0.5-mm radius around the fovea, and superior, inferior, temporal, and nasal quadrants of the inner and outer rings of the macula) were obtained using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography imaging. A custom program was used to correct for transverse magnification effects because of different axial lengths.

Results: The median full retinal and ORL thicknesses at the central macula were 285 µm and 92 µm. The full retina was thinnest centrally and thickest at the inner macula ring, whereas the ORL was thickest centrally and gradually decreased in thickness with increasing eccentricity. There was no association between axial length and the full retinal or ORL thickness. Increased thicknesses of the full retina at the central macula was associated with better BCVA; however, the effect size was small and not clinically significant.

Conclusions: This article mapped the full retinal and ORL thickness profile in a population-based sample of young healthy adults.

Translational Relevance: Thickness values presented in this article could be used as a normative reference for future studies on young adults and in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)8
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


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