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Abstract: TH-PO459

Impact of Ageing and Cardiovascular Risk Factors on Retinal Neurodegeneration Assessed by Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography

Session Information

Category: Hypertension and CVD

  • 1401 Hypertension and CVD: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Prevention


  • Jung, Susanne, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  • Bosch, Agnes, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  • Kohler, Nikolas Ludwig, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  • Ott, Christian, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  • Kannenkeril, Dennis, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  • Dienemann, Thomas, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  • Harazny, Joanna M., University Erlangen-Nueremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  • Schmieder, Roland E., University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany

Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) has become a reliable imaging technique for the evaluation of retinal layer volumes. The aim of this study is to characterize age-related neuroretinal alterations and thereby identify risk factors for the process of retinal ageing.


This was a prospective observational single center study including 62 healthy subjects–25 young (aged<40 years) and 37 elderly healthy individuals (aged≥40 years). Macular retinal layer volumes of both eyes were evaluated by SD-OCT, comprising total retinal volume and each layer separately.


In the group of young subjects (12 females/13 males, aged 25.1±3.5years) fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and HbA1c were significantly lower than in elderly subjects (28 females/9 males, aged 58.2±10years). There were no significant differences in systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Gender-adjusted retinal layer volumes of both eyes including total retinal, RNFL, ganglion cell layer (GCL), inner plexiform layer (IPL), GCL-IPL, inner retinal layer (IRL, comprising RNFL, GCL-IPL) and outer nuclear layer (ONL) volume were lower in the group of elderly subjects compared to young individuals. Additionally, partial correlation analysis revealed a significant negative correlation between retinal layer volumes and age (r range: -0.633 to -0.272, p range: <0.001-0.032), SBP (r range: -0.319 to -0.266, p range: 0.014-0.036), DBP (r range: -0.386 to -0.275, p range: 0.004-0.035), FPG (r range: -0.448 to -0.297, p range: 0.001-0.036) and HbA1c (r range: -0.433 to -0.286, p range: 0.002-0.044).


In this study, we detected significant differences in retinal layer volumes indicating age-related retinal neurodegenerative processes and identified risk factors for retinal ageing such as hypertension and a dysregulated glucose metabolism.

Retinal layer volumes
Retinal layer volume [mm^3]Young subjects
Right eye / left eye
Elderly subjects
Right eye / left eye
Gender-adjusted p value
Right eye / left eye
Total retina8.86±0.40 / 8.80±0.378.47±0.35 / 8.46±0.35< 0.001 / 0.001
Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL)1.00±0.14 / 0.93±0.080.91±0.11 / 0.86±0.120.007 / 0.003
Ganglion cell layer (GCL)1.14±0.07 / 1.13±0.071.04±0.07 /1.04±0.09< 0.001
Inner plexiform layer (IPL)0.91±0.06 / 0.92±0.050.80±0.06 / 0.88±0.070.007 / 0.003
GCL-IPL2.05±0.13 / 2.05±0.121.92±0.13 / 1.91±0.16< 0.001
Inner retinal layer6.59±0.30 / 6.56±0.336.23±0.31 / 6.20±0.33< 0.001
Outer nuclear layer1.81±0.25 / 1.83±0.241.65±0.19 / 1.68±0.180.020 / 0.018