Purpose: Measurements of the ganglion cell complex (GCC), comprising the retinal nerve fiber (RNFL), ganglion cell, and inner plexiform layers, can be correlated with vision loss caused by optic nerve disease. Handheld optical coherence tomography (HH-OCT) can be used with sedation in children who are not amenable to traditional imaging. We report GCC and RNFL measurements in normal children using HH-OCT. Design: Prospective observational study of normal children ≤5 years of age. Methods: Healthy, full-term children ≤5 years of age undergoing sedation or anesthesia were enrolled. Exclusion criteria included prematurity and pre-existing neurologic, genetic, metabolic, or intraocular pathology. Demographic data, axial length (Master-Vu Sonomed Escalon, Lake Success, New York, USA), and HH-OCT macular and optic nerve volume scans at 0° (Bioptigen, Inc., Morrisville, North Carolina, USA) were obtained. Retinal segmentation was completed with DOCTRAP software, creating average volume thickness maps. Results: Sixty-seven children (67 eyes, 31 males ranging in age from 3.4–70.9 months) were enrolled. Average axial length was 21.2 ± 1.0 mm with mean spherical equivalent +1.49 ± 1.34 diopters (range −2.25 to 4.25). Average GCC volume for the total retina was 0.28 ± 0.04 mm3. Forty-seven of these eyes had RNFL analysis. Average RNFL thickness of the papillomacular bundle was 38.2 ± 9.5 μm. There was no correlation between GCC volume, RNFL thickness, patient age, or axial length. Conclusion: Average GCC volume and RNFL thickness was stable from 6 months to 5 years of age. This study provides normative data for GCC and RNFL obtained by HH-OCT in healthy eyes of young children, to serve in evaluating those with optic neuropathies.
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