Monitoring young children with optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) for visual deterioration can be difficult owing to age-related noncompliance. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) measures of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness have been proposed as a surrogate marker of vision but this technique is also limited by patient cooperation.
To determine whether measures of circumpapillary RNFL thickness, acquired with handheld OCT (HH-OCT) during sedation, can differentiate between young children with and without vision loss from OPGs.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This cross-sectional analysis of a prospective observational study was conducted at a tertiary-care children’s hospital. Children with an OPG (sporadic or secondary to neurofibromatosis type 1) who were cooperative for visual acuity testing, but required sedation to complete magnetic resonance imaging, underwent HH-OCT imaging of the circumpapillary RNFL while sedated.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the average and quadrant-specific RNFL thicknesses.
Thirty-three children (64 eyes) met inclusion criteria (median age, 4.8 years; range, 1.8-12.6 years). In children with vision loss (abnormal visual acuity and/or visual field), RNFL thickness was decreased in all quadrants compared with the normal-vision group (P < .001 for all comparisons). Using abnormal criteria of less than 5% and less than 1%, the area under the curve was highest for the average RNFL thickness (0.96 and 0.97, respectively) compared with specific anatomic quadrants. The highest discrimination and predictive values were demonstrated for participants with 2 or more quadrants meeting less than 5% (sensitivity = 93.3; specificity = 97.9; positive predictive value = 93.3; and negative predictive value = 97.9) and less than 1% (sensitivity = 93.3; specificity = 100; positive predictive value = 100; and negative predictive value = 98.0) criteria.
Conclusions and Relevance
Measures of RNFL thickness acquired with HH-OCT during sedation can differentiate between young children with and without vision loss from OPGs. For young children who do not cooperate with vision testing, HH-OCT measures may be a surrogate marker of vision. Longitudinal studies are needed to delineate the temporal relationship between RNFL decline and vision loss.