Author(s): Wang C, Kravets S, Sethi A, Espeland MA, Pasquale LR, Rapp SR, Klein BE, Meuer SM, Haan MN, Maki PM, Hallak JA, Vajaranant TS. An Association Between Large Optic Cupping and Total and Regional Brain Volume: The Women’s Health Initiative. Am J Ophthalmol. 2023 May;249:21-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.12.020. Epub 2023 Jan 11. PMID 36638905
Journal: American Journal Of Ophthalmology, Volume 249, May 2023
PURPOSE To investigate the relationships between optic nerve cupping and total and regional brain volumes.
DESIGN Secondary analysis of randomized clinical trial data.
METHODS Women 65 to 79 years of age without glaucoma with cup-to-disc ratio (CDR) measurements from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Sight Examination study and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based total and regional brain volumes from the WHI Memory Study MRI-1 were included. Large CDR was defined as 0.6 or greater in either eye. Generalized estimating equation models were used to account for intra-brain correlations between the right and left sides. The final analysis was adjusted for demographic and clinical characteristics and for total brain volume (for regional analyses).
RESULTS Final analyses included 471 women, with the mean age ± SD was 69.2 ± 3.6 years; 92.8% of the subjects were white. Of 471 women, 34 (7.2%) had large CDR. Controlling for total brain volume and for demographic and clinical characteristics, lateral ventricle volume was 3.01 cc larger for subjects with large CDR compared to those without large CDR (95% CI = 0.02 to 5.99; P = .048). Furthermore, frontal lobe volume was 4.78 cc lower for subjects with large CDR compared to those without (95% CI = -8.71, -0.84; P = 0.02), and occipital lobe volume was 1.86 cc lower for those with large CDR compared to those without (95% CI = -3.39, -0.3; P =.02).
CONCLUSIONS Our analysis suggests that in women aged 65 years or more, large CDR is associated with lower relative total brain volume and absolute regional volume in the frontal and occipital lobes. Enlarged CDR in individuals without glaucoma may represent a sign of optic nerve and brain aging, although more longitudinal data are needed.