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Progressive Thinning of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer and Ganglion Cell–Inner Plexiform Layer in Glaucoma Eyes with Disc Hemorrhage

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To evaluate the thinning of the circumpapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (cpRNFL) and macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (mGCIPL) in primary open-angle glaucoma eyes with and without a history of disc hemorrhage (DH).


Observational cohort study.


Thirty-nine 39 eyes (34 participants) with DH and 117 eyes (104 participants) without DH from the Diagnostic Innovations in Glaucoma Study and the African Decent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study.


Participants had at least 1.5 years of follow-up, with a minimum of 3 visits with biannual spectral-domain OCT cpRNFL and mGCIPL thickness measurements and visual fields (VFs). The rates of cpRNFL and mGCIPL thinning were calculated using mixed-effects models. The dynamic range-based normalized rates of cpRNFL and mGCIPL thinning were calculated and compared between the DH and non-DH groups.

Main outcome measures

Rates of cpRNFL and mGCIPL thinning.


The rate of mGCIPL thinning was significantly faster in the DH group compared with the non-DH group (-0.62 μm/year vs. -0.38 μm/year; P = 0.024). The rate of cpRNFL thinning in the DH quadrant and rate of mGCIPL thinning in the inferotemporal sector in the DH group were faster than the corresponding regions in the non-DH group after adjusting for intraocular pressure (-1.33 μm/year vs. -0.58 μm/year; P = 0.053) and race (-0.82 μm/year vs. -0.44 μm/year; P = 0.048). In the DH group, percent rate of loss was significantly faster for the mGCIPL than the cpRNFL (-1.59 %/year vs. -1.31 %/year; P = 0.046). Rates of mGCIPL thinning were associated weakly with mean deviation slope, VF index slope, and guided progression analysis (GPA). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve for VF progression were 0.75 for mGCIPL and 0.56 for cpRNFL in the DH group.


The rate of mGCIPL and cpRNFL thinning was faster in DH eyes than non-DH eyes. Compared with cpRNFL, mGCIPL showed higher proportional rates of thinning and greater association with functional progression. In addition to cpRNFL, clinicians should consider incorporating mGCIPL imaging to monitor glaucoma progression, especially in glaucoma eyes with DH.

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