Retinal single-layer analysis with optical coherence tomography shows inner retinal layer thinning in Huntington's disease as a potential biomarker


INTERNATIONAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.39, no.3, pp.611-621, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10792-018-0857-7
  • Page Numbers: pp.611-621


PurposeThere have been ongoing clinical trials of therapeutic agents in Huntington's disease (HD) which requires development of reliable biomarkers of disease progression. There have been studies in the literature with conflicting results on the involvement of retina in HD, and up to date there is not a study evaluating the single retinal layers in HD. We aimed to evaluate the specific retinal changes in HD and their usability as potential disease progression markers.MethodsThis cross-sectional study used spectral-domain optical coherence tomography with automatic segmentation to measure peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness and the thickness and volume of retinal layers in foveal scans of 15 patients with HD and 15 age- and sex-matched controls. Genetic testing results, disease duration, HD disease burden scores and Unified HD Rating Scales motor scores were acquired for the patients.ResultsTemporal pRNFL, macular RNFL (mRNFL), ganglion cell layer (GCL), inner plexiform layer (IPL), inner nuclear layer and outer plexiform layer thicknesses and IPL, retinal pigment epithelium and outer macular volume were found lower in HD compared to controls, while outer nuclear layer and outer retinal layer thickness were increased (p<0.05). We found significant correlations between inner retinal layer thicknesses, most significantly with mRNFL and GCL and disease progression markers.ConclusionThe outcomes of this study points out that retinal layers, most significantly mRNFL and GCL, are strongly correlated with the disease progression in HD and could serve as useful biomarkers for disease progression.