Evaluation of macular and retinal nerve fiber layer thicknesses in episodic-type cluster headache patients by optical coherence tomography
Mehmet Tecellioglu1, Cem Cankaya2
1Inonu University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Malatya, Turkey
2Inonu University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Malatya, Turkey
Aim: This study evaluated macular and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNLF) thicknesses using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in patients with episodic-type cluster headaches.
Material and Methods: In total, 33 eyes of 33 patients with episodic-type cluster headaches were included in this study. The eyes were ipsilateral to the pain, and all measurements were performed during attacks. The control group consisted of 33 eyes of 33 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals. The average RNFL thickness and macular thickness (MT) obtained from nine macular areas in the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) were evaluated using SD-OCT (RS-3000; Nidek Inc., Fremont, CA, USA) following a detailed ophthalmologic examination. The results of the two groups were then compared.
Results: The mean RNFL thickness was 104.73 ± 8.7 in the cluster headache patients and 106.86 ± 8.6 in the controls. The difference in RNFL thickness between the groups was not significant (p = 0.418). The MT measurements according to the ETDRS showed statistically significant thinning of the outer temporal area in the cluster headache patients (295.95 ± 13.5 vs. 312.77 ± 15.9 in the controls, p = 0.001). The differences between the two groups with respect to the other ETDRS areas (central macula, superior-inner, inferior-inner, nasal-inner, temporal-inner, superior-outer, inferior-outer, nasal-outer, and total average macula) were not significant (p = 0.482, p = 0.672, p = 0.65, p = 0.679, p = 0.062, p = 0.455, p = 0.818, p = 0.845, and p = 0.189, respectively).
Conclusion: Although the difference in thinning of the internal temporal region was not statistically significant between the patient and control groups, a vascular aetiology leading to thinning of the temporal region and thus to cell damage may contribute to the aetiology of episodic-type cluster headaches.