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The Relationship of the Clinical Disc Margin and Bruch's Membrane Opening in Normal and Glaucoma SubjectsBruch's Membrane Opening and Clinical Disc Margin



We tested the hypotheses that the mismatch between the clinical disc margin (CDM) and Bruch's membrane opening (BMO) is a function of BMO area (BMOA) and is affected by the presence of glaucoma.


A total of 45 normal eyes (45 subjects) and 53 glaucomatous eyes (53 patients) were enrolled and underwent radial optic nerve head (ONH) imaging with spectral domain optical coherence tomography. The inner tip of the Bruch's membrane (BM) and the clinical disc margin were marked on radial scans and optic disc photographs, and were coregistered with custom software. The main outcome measure was the difference between the clinical disc area (CDA) and BMOA, or CDA-BMOA mismatch, as a function of BMOA and diagnosis. Multivariate regression analyses were used to explore the influence of glaucoma and BMOA on the mismatch.


Global CDA was larger than BMOA in both groups but the difference was statistically significant only in the normal group (1.98 ± 0.37 vs. 1.85 ± 0.45 mm2, P = 0.02 in the normal group; 1.96 ± 0.38 vs. 1.89 ± 0.56 mm2, P = 0.08 in the glaucoma group). The sectoral CDA-BMOA mismatch was smaller in superotemporal (P = 0.04) and superonasal (P = 0.05) sectors in the glaucoma group. The normalized CDA-BMOA difference decreased with increasing BMOA in both groups (P < 0.001). Presence or severity of glaucoma did not affect the CDA-BMOA difference (P > 0.14).


Clinical disc area was larger than BMOA in normal and glaucoma eyes but reached statistical significance only in the former group. The CDA-BMOA mismatch diminished with increasing BMOA but was not affected by presence of glaucoma. These findings have important clinical implications regarding clinical evaluation of the ONH.

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