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Depolarization properties of the optic nerve head: the effect of age


The degree of polarization (DOP) of the light reflected from the optic nerve head has been assessed by means of a polarimetric scanning laser ophthalmoscope as a function of the age of the participants. Four fundus images corresponding to independent polarization states in the recording pathway were used to compute the spatially-resolved DOP. This was not uniform across the optic nerve head and depended on both the location and the participant’s age. Along a peripapillary annulus the DOP followed a double-peak pattern. Moreover, the values along this annulus decreased significantly with increasing age. This depolarization appears to originate in part in the retinal nerve fiber layer. Detailed age-dependent knowledge of the ocular depolarization properties may help to improve clinical diagnosis of the retinal nerve fiber layer.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2009.00644.x

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