The retina is the innermost layer of the eye and is divided into two regions: posterior pole and
peripheral retina. The posterior pole of the retina consists of the macula and the optic disc. The
macula is located temporal to the optic disc and is about 6 mm in diameter. The central
depressed part of the macula is the fovea. This is the most sensitive part of the retina and is
responsible for high perception of vision. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-
invasive imaging modality that provides high-resolution quantitative measurements of the retinal
thickness. Despite the fact that OCT has become a reliable tool for detecting and quantifying
small changes in macular thickness, some studies showed significant variations in macular
thickness among normal subjects by ethnicity, age and gender.
To determine normal macular thickness using OCT and its determinants among black adults
attending MURHEC, Southwestern Uganda.
This was a hospital-based descriptive cross sectional study. We enrolled 150 subjects with best
corrected visual acuity of 6/6 or better with and without any history or evidence of pathological
features of the retina, between August and September 2017. We collected data on socio-
demographic characteristics, visual acuity, refraction, anterior segment examination, fundoscopy
and macular thickness using Cirrus SD-OCT. All data were entered into EP.INFO software and
then imported into STATA 13.0 software for analysis.
The participants’ ages ranged from 18 to 79 years; 57% were females. The mean fovea thickness
for all subjects was 231.1 ± 20.2 μm (Mean ± sd). The overall average macular thickness
(thickness average cube) in each of the 9 regions of the early treatment diabetic retinopathy study
(ETDRS) was 272.7 ± 12.2 μm (Mean ± sd). We found significant variations of overall average
macular thickness (thickness average cube) by age (P = 0.0015). Females were found to have
thinner foveas compared to males (P = 0.0003).
We have provided normative data for macular thickness using OCT. Our study found tendency
of decreasing of overall average macular thickness with increasing age, while fovea thickness is
thinner in females, compared to males.
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