Retinal ganglion cell loss is size dependent in experimental glaucoma

Y. Glovinsky, H. A. Quigley, G. R. Dunkelberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

346 Scopus citations


Thirty-two areas located in the temporal midperipheral retina were evaluated in whole-mount preparations from four monkeys with monocular experimental glaucoma. Diameter frequency distributions of remaining ganglion cells in the glaucomatous eye were compared with corresponding areas in the normal fellow eye. Large cells were significantly more vulnerable at each stage of cell damage as determined by linear-regression analysis. The magnitude of size-dependent loss was moderate at an early stage (20% loss), peaked at 50% total cell loss, and decreased in advanced damage (70% loss). In glaucomatous eyes, the lower retina had significantly more large cell loss than the corresponding areas of the upper retina. In optic nerve zones that matched the retinal areas studied, large axons selectively were damaged first. Psychophysical testing aimed at functions subserved by larger ganglion cells is recommended for detection and follow-up of early glaucoma; however, assessment of functions unique to small cells is more appropriate for detecting change in advanced glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-491
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Retinal ganglion cell loss is size dependent in experimental glaucoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this