Assessing ganglion cell layer topography in human albinism using optical coherence tomography

Erica N. Woertz, Bisola S. Omoba, Taylor M. Dunn, Stephanie J. Chiu, Sina Farsiu, Sasha Strul, C. Gail Summers, Arlene V. Drack, Joseph Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To test whether ganglion cell layer (GCL) and inner plexiform layer (IPL) topography is altered in albinism. METHODS. Optical coherence tomography scans were analyzed in 30 participants with albinism and 25 control participants. Horizontal and vertical line scans were acquired at the fovea, then strip registered and averaged. The Duke Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Analysis Program was used to automatically segment the combined GCL and IPL and total retinal thickness, followed by program-assisted manual segmentation of the boundary between the GCL and IPL. Layer thickness and area under the curve (AUC) were calculated within 2.5 mm of the fovea. Nasal-temporal and superior-inferior asymmetry were calculated as an AUC ratio in each quadrant. RESULTS. GCL and IPL topography varied between participants. The summed AUC in all quadrants was similar between groups for both the GCL (P = 0.84) and IPL (P = 0.08). Both groups showed nasal-temporal asymmetry in the GCL, but only participants with albinism had nasal-temporal asymmetry in the IPL. Nasal-temporal asymmetry was greater in albinism for both the GCL (P < 0.0001) and the IPL (P = 0.0006). The GCL usually comprised a greater percentage of the combined GCL and IPL in controls than in albinism. CONCLUSIONS. The GCL and IPL have greater structural variability than previously reported. GCL and IPL topography are significantly altered in albinism, which suggests differences in the spatial distribution of retinal ganglion cells. This finding provides insight into foveal development and structure-function relationships in foveal hypoplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 9 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the National Eye Institute, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R01EY024969, R01EY017607, P30EY001931, T32GM080202, TL1TR001437, and UL1TR001436. This investigation was conducted in part in a facility constructed with support from a Research Facilities Improvement Program, grant number C06RR016511 from the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Additional support from Vision for Tomorrow and the Gene and Ruth Posner Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2020 The Authors.


  • Albinism
  • Foveal development
  • Foveal hypoplasia
  • Ganglion cell layer
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Area Under Curve
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Albinism, Ocular/diagnostic imaging
  • Nerve Fibers/pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Young Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Visual Fields
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells/pathology
  • Child
  • Observer Variation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing ganglion cell layer topography in human albinism using optical coherence tomography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this