Biomechanical responses of lamina cribrosa to intraocular pressure change assessed by optical coherence tomography in glaucoma eyes

Harry Quigley, Karun Arora, Sana Idrees, Francisco Solano, Sahar Bedrood, Christopher Lee, Joan Jefferys, Thao D. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to measure change in anterior lamina cribrosa depth (ALD) globally and regionally in glaucoma eyes at different intraocular pressures (IOP). METHODS. Twenty-seven glaucoma patients were imaged before and after IOP-lowering procedures using optical coherence tomography. The anterior lamina was marked in approximately 25 locations in each of six radial scans to obtain global and regional estimates of ALD. ALD and its change with IOP were compared with optic disc damage, nerve fiber layer thickness, and visual field loss. RESULTS. Variables associated with deeper baseline ALD included larger cup/disc ratio, thinner rim area, larger cup volume, thinner central corneal thickness, and male sex (all P ≤ 0.02). When IOP was lowered, ALD position became more anterior, more posterior, or was unchanged. The mean ALD change after lowering was 27 ± 142 μm (P = 0.3). The mean absolute value of ALD change was 112 ± 90 μm (P = 0.002). Change in ALD was greater in eyes with lower IOP in paired comparisons (P = 0.006) but was not associated with the magnitude of IOP lowering between imaging sessions (P = 0.94). Eyes with no significant change in ALD tended to have more visual field loss than those with significant anterior ALD displacement (P = 0.07). Areas within each optic nerve head that corresponded to zones with thicker nerve fiber layer had greater ALD positional change (P = 0.0007). CONCLUSIONS. The lamina can move either anteriorly or posteriorly with IOP decrease, with greater displacement at lower IOP. Glaucoma eyes and regions within glaucoma eyes associated with greater glaucoma damage exhibited smaller responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2566-2577
Number of pages12
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Biomechanics
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Lamina cribrosa
  • Optic nerve head
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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