J Korean Ophthalmol Soc.  2016 Apr;57(4):628-633. 10.3341/jkos.2016.57.4.628.

Correlation between Visual Acuity and Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Optic Neuropathies

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. kseeye@hanmail.net


To assess the correlation between retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT, Cirrus HD-OCT®) and visual acuity in optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy and traumatic optic neuropathy.
Thirty-eight patients were recruited. RNFL thickness and visual acuity in optic neuritis, ischemic optic neuropathy and traumatic optic neuropathy were measured at least 6 months after the event. The correlation between log MAR best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and retinal nerve fiber thickness in each quadrant was analyzed.
log MAR BCVA and RNFL thickness of each quadrant in optic neuropathy exhibited a statistically significant correlation. In optic neuritis, RNFL thickness of the superior quadrant was significantly thicker than in ischemic optic neuropathy and traumatic optic neuropathy (p = 0.009, 0.003). In addition, RNFL thickness of the inferior quadrant in optic neuritis was significantly thicker than in traumatic optic neuropathy (p = 0.012).
There was a statistically significant correlation between log MAR BCVA and RNFL thickness by OCT in patients with optic neuropathies. The RNFL thickness may predict visual acuity after an optic neuropathy attack and help to differentiate malingering patients with impaired vision loss.


Optic neuropathy; Optical coherence tomography; Retinal nerve fiber layer

MeSH Terms

Nerve Fibers*
Optic Nerve Diseases*
Optic Nerve Injuries
Optic Neuritis
Optic Neuropathy, Ischemic
Tomography, Optical Coherence
Visual Acuity*


  • Figure 1. Scatter plot of mean RNFL thickness vs. log MAR BCVA in affected eyes (n = 41, number of eyes with optic neuropathies). The mean RNFL thickness is plotted as a function of visual acuity. The solid line represents the linear regression best fit line for the data (Y = −0.018X + 1.573)*, which was statistically significant (p-value† = 0.001). BCVA = best corrected visual acuity; RNFL = retinal nerve fiber layer. *X = RNFL thickness (μm), Y = log MAR BCVA;†Simple linear regression.

Cited by  1 articles

Longitudinal Evaluation of Retinal Structure in Patients with Traumatic Optic Neuropathy Using Optical Coherence Tomography
Sung Ha Hwang, Jong Yeon Lee, Mijung Chi
J Korean Ophthalmol Soc. 2018;59(1):73-80.    doi: 10.3341/jkos.2018.59.1.73.



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