Imaging of retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma: pitfalls and challenges


Imaging has gained a key role in modern glaucoma management. Traditionally, interest was directed toward the appearance of the optic nerve head and the retinal nerve fiber layer. With the improvement of the resolution of optical coherence tomography, the ganglion cell complex has also become routinely accessible in the clinic. Further advances have been made in understanding the structure-function relationship in glaucoma. Nevertheless, direct imaging of the retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma would be advantageous. With the currently used techniques, this goal cannot be achieved, because the transversal resolution is limited by aberrations of the eye. The use of adaptive optics has significantly improved transversal resolution, and the imaging of several cell types including cones and astrocytes has become possible. Imaging of retinal ganglion cells, however, still remains a problem, because of the transparency of these cells. However, the visualization of retinal ganglion cells and their dendrites has been achieved in animal models. Furthermore, attempts have been made to visualize the apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells in vivo. Implementation of these techniques in clinical practice will probably improve glaucoma care and facilitate the development of neuroprotective strategies.

DOI: 10.1007/s00441-013-1600-3

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@inproceedings{Werkmeister2013ImagingOR, title={Imaging of retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma: pitfalls and challenges}, author={Ren{\'e} Marcel Werkmeister and Alina Popa Cherecheanu and Gerhard Garhofer and Dieter Schmidl and Leopold Schmetterer}, booktitle={Cell and Tissue Research}, year={2013} }