To investigate the longitudinal corneal birefringence (corneal polarization axis [CPA] and corneal polarization magnitude [CPM]) variability in scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation and its effect on retinal nerve fiber layer measurements.
We analyzed scanning laser polarimetry images obtained every 6 months for 3.2 years in 16 healthy eyes, 38 eyes with ocular hypertension, and 53 eyes with glaucoma in 107 white participants. Differences in values between each intraeye CPA and CPM measurement and the first measurement were used to investigate the variability and any trend with time, and any association with age or diagnosis. We also calculated the percentage of these values within the range of ±5° or ±5 nm, respectively. Any effect of corneal birefringence variability on the retinal nerve fiber layer measurements was also evaluated.
The CPA and CPM measurement variability showed no trend with time and did not differ between diagnostic groups. It did not appear to be affected by age. With more than 90% of the CPA and CPM measurement variability within the range of ±5° or ±5 nm, no significant effect on the retinal nerve fiber layer measurements was observed.
The CPA and CPM measurement variability did not differ between groups, showed no trend over time, was independent of subject age, and did not seem to systematically affect retinal nerve fiber layer reproducibility.