Evaluation of the retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and the choroidal
thickness in generalized vitiligo patients
Aim: The retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and the choroidal
thickness is compared to healthy volunteers in vitiligo patients.
Material and method: The study included the right eyes of 60 healthy
individuals and 60 generalized vitiligo patients. Following routine
ophthalmological examination, the RNFL thickness and the choroidal
thickness were analyzed with spectral domain optical coherence
tomography (SD-OCT). Results: It was determined that the mean macular
choroidal thickness decreased significantly in vitiligo patients, while
the RNFL thickness did not change (p<0.05). Conclusion: As the
fact that the RNFL thickness does not change despite the significantly
reduced choroidal thickness in vitiligo patients may indicate that the
melanin cells that are dense in the choroid are affected, the
non-invasive, simple and rapid measurement of the choroidal thickness
with OCT can help in determining the damage in vitiligo patients.
Keywords: Vitiligo, choroid, nerve fibers, optical coherence tomography.
1. What is already known about this topic? Melanocytes are found in
uveal tissues such as the eyelash, retinal pigment epithelium, choroid,
ciliary body, and iris. Melanin in these tissues can disappear when
destruction occurs in cutaneous melanocytes in vitiligo patients. As a
result, some studies reported hypopigmented spots on the iris and
retina, atrophic changes in the peripapillary area, degeneration in the
retinal pigment epithelium and chorioretinal areas. Melanin, produced in
melanocytes in the choroidal layer and stored in melanosomes, has a
crucial role in protecting and absorbing light from intraocular
reflection. 2. What does this article add? Although the visual acuity of
the patients with vitiligo is at the same level as the control group, we
found that the average macular choroid thickness was thinner. We found
no significant changes in the choroidal thickness in patients with
periocular attitude. We found a negative correlation between the
choroidal thickness and the duration of the disease.