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October2013 Vol.50 Issue:        4        Table of Contents
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Optical Coherence Tomography of Retinal Nerve Fiber Thickness and Hippocampal Atrophy in Multiple Sclerosis

Mervat Mostafa1, Faisal Abd Elwahab1, Husam S. Mourad1, Ihab I. Ali2, Asmaa S. Sabbah1

Departments of Neurology1, Radiodiagnosis2, Cairo University; Egypt


Background: Gray matter brain structures, including deep nuclei and the cerebral cortex, are affected significantly and early in the course of multiple sclerosis and these changes may not be directly related to demyelinating white matter lesions. Objective: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a noninvasive tool used for measuring tissue at micrometer resolution as a marker of neurodegeneration and axonal loss. Methods: The study included 30 MS patients, who underwent full clinical neurological assessment, EDSS, hippocampal volume measurement and the retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) detection of both optic discs and 20 age and sex matched normal healthy controls. Results:  The mean hippocampal volume in MS patients was markedly reduced compared to controls. (p<0.001). MS patients showed marked reduction in RNFLT of the superior and inferior quadrants on both sides and the left temporal quadrant, compared to control subjects. No significant correlation was found between mean volumes of the right and left hippocampi and mean EDSS. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between mean volume of the right hippocampus and mean RNFLT of the left nasal quadrant, (p = 0.04) and between mean volume of the left hippocampus and mean RNFLT of the left superior, left inferior and left nasal quadrants. Conclusion: MS patients showed evident reduction in hippocampal volumes and RNFLT compared to controls. RNFL thinning correlated well with hippocampal volume loss, supporting previous findings of other studies that RNFLT measured by OCT can be used as a surrogate marker of neuro-degeneration and axonal loss in MS patients. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2013; 50(4): 411-417]

Key Words: OCT(optical coherence tomography), MS, RNFLT, hippocampal atrophy, hippocampal volume.

Correspondence to Husam S Mourad, Cairo University, Neurology Department, Egypt.Tel.: +201001554417    e-mail:


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