Signal Alteration in the Optic Nerve Head on 3D T2-weighted MRI: a Potential Neuroimaging Sign of Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy

Jong Yeon Lee, Hyo Jeong Kwon, Su Jin Park, Chungkwon Yoo, Yong Yeon Kim, Eung Yeop Kim

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To investigate whether a signal alteration (SA) in the optic nerve head (ONH) on 3D T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is associated with glaucomatous optic neuropathy Materials and Methods: A total of 35 patients with bilateral open-angle glaucoma and 31 age-matched controls underwent 3D high-resolution (0.98 × 0.98 × 1 mm3) T2-weighted MRI and detailed ophthalmologic examinations including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). Two independent reviewers blinded to subject data determined mild or prominent SA on 3D T2-weighted MRI for the incomplete or complete loss of ocular hypointense continuity in the ONH, respectively. The prevalence of SAs was compared between the two groups with the chi-square test. The OCT measurements were compared among the eyes with a mild or prominent SA and those without an SA using the Kruskal–Wallis test. Results: Of the 35 eyes with glaucoma, 26 eyes (74.3%) exhibited an SA in the ONH, whereas it was observed in 5 (16.1%) of the 31 controls (P < 0.001). The eyes with a prominent SA had a significantly different average retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (P = 0.002) and the ONH parameters except for the disk area (all P < 0.001) than those without an SA. The eyes with a mild SA had a significantly narrower neural rim area, larger cup volume, and larger average and vertical cup-to-disk ratios compared with those without an SA (P = 0.011, 0.003, 0.004, and 0.004, respectively) Conclusions: The SA in the ONH on 3D T2-weighted MRI was significantly more frequent in eyes with open-angle glaucoma than in the controls.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)397-405
    Number of pages9
    JournalCurrent Eye Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 4

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This research was supported by a grant of Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea [grant number HI16C2319].

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


    • Glaucoma
    • magnetic resonance imaging
    • optic nerve head
    • optic-disk cup volume
    • retinal nerve fiber layer thickness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ophthalmology
    • Sensory Systems
    • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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