Retinal nerve fibre layer thickness correlates with brain white matter damage in multiple sclerosis: a combined optical coherence tomography and diffusion tensor imaging study


  • M. Scheel
  • C. Finke
  • T. Oberwahrenbrock
  • A. Freing
  • L.M. Pech
  • J. Schlichting
  • C. Sömmer
  • J. Wuerfel
  • F. Paul
  • A.U. Brandt


  • Multiple Sclerosis Journal


  • Mult Scler J 20 (14): 1904-1907


  • We investigated the association of retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (RNFL) with white matter damage assessed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Forty-four MS patients and 30 healthy subjects underwent optical coherence tomography. DTI was analysed with a voxel-based whole brain and region-based analysis of optic radiation, corpus callosum and further white matter. Correlations between RNFL, fractional anisotropy (FA) and other DTI-based parameters were assessed in patients and controls. RNFL correlated with optic radiation FA, but also with corpus callosum and remaining white matter FA. Our findings demonstrate that RNFL changes indicate white matter damage exceeding the visual pathway.