Retinal microstructures are altered in patients with idiopathic infantile nystagmus



To compare segmented retinal layer thicknesses between patients with idiopathic infantile nystagmus (IIN) and controls.


This retrospective case-control study included 66 patients with IIN and 66 age-matched controls. The retinal layers were examined using spectral domain optical coherence tomography with autosegmentation. Central foveal thickness (CFT), outer nuclear layer (ONL), and outer segment length (OSL) thickness were measured at the fovea center. Mean values for retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell inner plexiform layer (GCIPL), inner nuclear layer, outer plexiform-outer nuclear layer (OPNL) thicknesses were calculated at two measurement points (nasal and temporal hump points at the macula area).


There were no significant between-group differences in age, gender, or refraction error. The CFT was thicker in the IIN group compared with the control group (225.0 μm vs. 217.8 μm, P = 0.017) and OSL was shorter in IIN than in controls (40.0 μm vs. 43.7 μm., P < 0.001). The ONL thickness at the central fovea was not statistically different between the two groups. At the nasal and temporal position where the ganglion cell density was thickest, the GCIPL thickness was thinner in the IIN group compared to the controls (99.5 μm vs. 102.8 μm, P = 0.010). The GCIPL thickness was negatively correlated with logMAR visual acuity (Spearman’s rho = −0.502, P < 0.001).


The foveal pit was shallower, OSL was shorter, and the GCIPL thicknesses at macular humps were decreased in the patients with IIN compared with that of controls. The faulty development of the macula may be related to unknown pathophysiologic mechanism during fovea maturation in IIN or continuous eye movement itself interrupt fovea development.

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All authors contributed to the work and fit the authorship criteria.

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Correspondence to Sueng-Han Han.

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This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine (6–2015-0077). The sponsor had no role in the design or conduct of this research

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All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the institutional review board of Severance Hospital and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Han, J., Lee, T., Lee, J.B. et al. Retinal microstructures are altered in patients with idiopathic infantile nystagmus. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 255, 1661–1668 (2017).

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  • Infantile nystagmus
  • Retinal layer thickness
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Visual acuity