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July2010 Vol.47 Issue:        3       (Supp.) Table of Contents
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Study of the Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Multiple Sclerosis by Using Optical Coherence Tomography

Azza A. Ghali1, Tarek R. Hussein2


Departments of Neuropsychiatry1, Ophthalmology2, Tanta University; Egypt



Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is being increasingly recognized as a complex neurodegenerative disorder of the brain and spinal cord Objective: to study the role of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in assessment of RNFL thickness as a structural biomarker for axonal loss in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: This study enrolled 15 patients (30 eyes) with remitting relapsing MS, 8 patients with secondary progressive MS, and 16 age and sex-matched healthy controls. Patients were divided into 2 subgroups: group I which included MS patients without optic neuritis (MS-N-ON). Group II included MS patients with history of optic neuritis (MS-ON).   All patients underwent neurologic assessment by Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and ophthalmic examination that included visual acuity, visual field examination, and OCT to measure retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness. Results:  RNFL thickness measured by OCT for all MS patients was significantly reduced compared with the control (p =0.000). RNFL thickness was significantly reduced in MSON eyes compared to healthy controls and MS-N-ON eyes. Although MS ON eyes demonstrate the greatest reductions in RNFL thickness, MS|-N-ON eyes are also abnormal including fellow eyes of MS patients with a history of unilateral optic neuritis. Reduction of average RNFL also showed a correlation with disease duration and neurological disability in MS-N-ON and MS-ON unaffected eyes. Conclusion: The results support potential usefulness of OCT for MS patient monitoring and research applications. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg. 2010; 47(3): 497-504]


Key Words: Retinal nerve fiber layer, Multiple sclerosis, Optical coherence tomography.



Correspondence to Azza Abbas Ghali, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Tanta University Hospital; Egypt

Tel.: +20127984473.  Email:


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