Abstract 99. Jahrestagung der DOG, 29. 9. - 2. 10. 01 im ICC, Berlin

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Size and shape of the normal optic disc in a South Indian Population

1Libera T., 2George R., 1Jonas J. B., 2Thomas R.

1Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty for Clinical Medicine Mannheim of the University Heidelberg, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, Indien

Purpose: To evaluate the normal morphology of the optic nerve head in a South Indian population.
Patients and Methods: The study included 73 ophthalmologically unremarkable subjects living in a suburb of Vellore, Tamil Nadu, South India. The subjects were randomly chosen and asked to participate in a routine eye examination and in the study. All subjects were adults (age range, 35-65 years) and were part of a population based sample that had been investigated 5 years prior to the start of the present study. The subjects of the present study formed a randomly selected subgroup of subjects who were called for a follow-up examination. The study group was compared with a control group consisting of 50 Caucasian subjects. Color stereo optic disc photographs taken of all subjects included in the study were evaluated.
Results: Area and diameter of the optic disc were significantly (p<0.01) larger in the South Indian study group than in the Caucasian control group. The shape of the optic disc measured as ratio of minimal to maximal disc diameter and as ration of horizontal to vertical disc diameter did not differ significantly (P>0.05) between the South Indian group and the Caucasian group.
Conclusions: South Indians compared with Caucasians have a significantly larger optic disc. Shape of the optic nerve head does not vary significantly between the two ethnic groups. Due to the important role the optic disc size plays for the morphologic detection of glaucomatous optic nerve head changes, the ethnically based larger disc size in South Indians is diagnostically, and possibly pathogenically, important.

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