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Table 1 Demographic data and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness measurements in Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and controls by OCT

From: The role of optical coherence tomography in Alzheimer’s disease

Study OCT type Diagnosis, number of subjects (eyes) Mean age ± SD (years) Mean MMSE ± SD Mean peripapillary RNFL SD (µm) Notes
Parisi et al. [19] TD AD, 17 (17) 70.4 ± 6.1 16.4 ± 2.4 59.5 ± 16.8** The mean peripapillary RNFL thicknes correlated with PERG
   Controls, 14 (14) Age-matched   99.9 ± 8.95  
Iseri et al. [26] TD AD, 14 (28) 70.1 ± 9.7 18.5 ± 6.3 87.5 ± 23.8*** The peripapillary and macular RNFL thickness of AD patients were thinner than in control subjects. Total macular volume and MMSE scores were significantly correlated
   Controls, 14 (14) 65.1 ± 9.8   113.2 ± 6.7  
Berisha et al. [46] TD AD, 9 (9) 74.3 ± 3.3 23.8 ± 5.1 85.5 ± 7.4 Narrow veins and decreased retinal blood flow in these veins
   Controls, 8 (8) 74.3 ± 5.8   93.8 ± 10.4  
Paquet et al. [34] TD AD, 26 (52) 78.5 ± 4.9   83.4 ± 7.2** Early involvement of the RNFL in patients with MCI
    Mild AD, 14 (28)   22.6   
    Severe AD, 12 (24)   16.6   
   MCI, 23 (46) 78.7 ± 5.1 28.8 89.3 ± 2.7**  
   Controls, 15 (30) 75.5 ± 5.1   102.2 ± 1.8  
Lu et al. [30] TD AD, 22 (44) 73.0 ± 8.0   90.0 ± 18.0* The RNFL thickness reductions of predominantly in the superior and inferior quadrants
   Controls, 22 (44) 68.0 ± 9.0   98.0 ± 12.0  
Kesler et al. [27] TD AD, 30 (52) 73.7 ± 9.9 23.6 ± 4.3 84.7 ± 10.6* No correlation between RNFL thickness measurements and MMSE in AD patients
   MCI, 24 (40) 71.0 ± 10.0 28.1 ± 2.1 85.8 10.0*  
   Controls, 24 (38) 70.9 ± 9.2   94.3 ± 11.3  
Moschos et al. [33] TD AD, 30 (60) 71.8 ± 8.6    There is a functional abnormality of the outer retina in central macular area in mild stages of AD
   Controls, 30 (60) Age-matched    
Moreno-Ramos et al. [32] SD AD, 10 (20) 73.0 ± 6.5 16.4 94.5 ± 2.2* The RNFL thickness correlated significantly with both the MMSE and the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale scores in AD patients
   Controls, 10 (20) 70.0 ± 2.0   108.0 ± 2.2  
Marziani et al. [31] SD AD, 21 (21) 79.3 ± 5.7 19.9 ± 3.1   Macular RNFL and RNFL + GCL thickness measurements are reduced in AD patients compared with healthy subjects
   Controls, 21 (21) 77.0 ± 4.2    
Kirbas et al. [28] SD AD, 40 (80) 69.3 ± 4.9 21.4 65.0 ± 6.2* No correlation between OCT parameters and MMSE
   Controls, 40 (80) 68.9 ± 5.1   75.0 ± 3.8  
Larrosa et al. [47] SD AD, 151 (151) 75.3 18.3 97.5 ± 14.1 Used two different OCT (cirrus and spectralis)
   Controls, 61 (61) 74.9   100.6 ± 13  
Ascaso et al. [35] TD AD, 18 (36) 72.1 ± 8.7 (AD + aMCI) 19.3 (AD + aMCI) 64.7 ± 15.2 The increased thickness and macular volume in aMCI
   aMCI, 21 (42) 72.1 ± 8.7 (AD + aMCI) 19.3 (AD + aMCI) 86.7 ± 7.18***  
   Controls, 41 (82) 72.9   103.1 ± 8.04  
Polo et al. [45] SD AD, 75 (75) 74.1 16.0 97.4 ± 11.2 (cirrus); 98.1 ± 10.7 (spectralis) SD-OCT protocols were able to detect RNFL and macular atrophy in AD patients
   Controls, 75 (75) 73.9   99.2 ± 9.9 (cirrus); 101.6 ± 9.5 (spectralis)  
Kromer et al. [29] SD AD, 22 (42) 75.9  ±  6.1  22.6  ±  5.5 104.3 ± 17.5 AD patients with mild to moderate stages of showed a significant reduction of RNFL thickness in the nasal superior sector
   Controls, 22 (42) 64.0 ± 8.2   101.8 ± 10.7  
Bambo et al. [48] SD AD, 56 (56) 74.0 ± 8.1 16.6 89.4 ± 10.4** Presence of optic disc pallor correlate with axonal loss and perfusion alterations in AD
   Controls, 56 (56) 76.4 ± 8.4   100.9 ± 11.7  
Bayhan et al. [43] SD AD, 31 (31) 75.8  ±  6.5 17.4  ±  4.9   A significant correlation with the macular GCC parameters and MMSE scores in AD patients
   Controls, 30 (30) 74.9 ± 7.6    
Liu et al. [41] TD AD, 67 (134)     The RNFL thickness in the superior quadrant and total mean values are gradually and significantly decreased from MCI to severe AD
    Mild AD, 24 71.3 ± 4.9   91.6 ± 10.1*  
    Moderate AD, 24 70.8 ± 6   91.7 ± 12.4*  
    Severe AD, 19 72.1 ± 4.6   87.1 ± 17.1***  
   MCI, 26 (52) 70.2 ± 6.5   95.4 ± 17.1  
   Controls, 39 (78) 69.7 ± 7.8   100.1 ± 15  
Gao et al. [25] SD AD, 25 (50) 74.7 ± 1.3 19.2 ± 0.6 86 ± 1.9** Reduced macular volume in AD and MCI patients, no correlation between MMSE and OCT parameters
   aMCI, 25 (50) 73.4 ± 1.5 25.8 ± 0.35 92.4 ± 1.9*  
   Controls, 21 (42) 72.1 ± 1   98.6 ± 1.7  
Oktem et al. [49] SD AD, 35 (70) 75.4 ± 6.9 18.0 80.6 ± 9.6*** RNFL thickness measurements can be useful for early diagnosis and evaluation of disease progression
   MCI, 35 (70) 74.1 ± 6.3 28.0 82.5 ± 7.3  
   Controls, 35 (70) 70.2 ± 8.0 29.0 91.5 ± 7.1  
Salobrar-Garcia et al. [50] SD AD, 23 (23) 79.3 ± 4.6 23.3 ± 3.1   Increase in peripapillary thickness in mild-AD patients
   Controls, 28 (28) 72.3 ± 5.1    
Cunha et al. [24] SD AD, 24 (45) 74.8 ± 6.2 17.0 ± 5.2 93.7 ± 13.4 Neuronal loss, especially for macular parameters, correlated well with cognitive impairment in AD
   Controls, 24 (48) 72.3 ± 7.3   103 ± 9.2  
Garcia-Martin et al. [51] SD AD, 150 (150) 75.33 18.35 ± 3.33 95.7 ± 15.22 Performed segmentation of all retinal layers. Inner retinal layers reduction may predict greater disease severity
   Controls, 75 (75) 74.79   99.23 ± 16.48  
Choi et al. [40] SD AD, 42 (42) 76.8 ± 8.7 14.5 ± 5.5   Performed segmentation of all retinal layers
   MCI, 26 (26) 74.7 ± 7.8 23.1 ± 4.6 86.6 ± 10.2  
   Controls, 66 (66) 73.8 ± 7.5    
  1. AD Alzheimer’s disease, MCI mild cognitive impairment, aMCI amnestic mild cognitive impairment, RNFL retinal nerve fiber layer, OCT optical coherence tomography, SD standard deviation, TD time-domain, SD (OCT type column) spectral domain, MMSE mini mental state examination, PERG pattern-reversal electroretinogram, GCL ganglion cell layer, GCC ganglion cell complex
  2. P < 0.05; ** P < 0.01; *** P < 0.001 when compared to controls