Variations in the optic nerve width in MR image depend­­ing on age and gender

Authors: P. Hanzlíková 1,2;  J. Chmelová 1,3;  M. Mikl 4
Authors‘ workplace: Radiologická klinika LF UP v Olomouci 1;  MR oddělení, Sagena s. r. o., Frýdek-Místek 2;  Radiodiagnostické oddělení, Městská nemocnice Ostrava 3;  Středoevropský technologický institut, MU, Brno 4
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2018; 81(3): 345-352
Category: Original Paper
doi: 10.14735/amcsnn2018345


The aim of this study was to evaluate the optic nerve and its sheath diameter changes in relation to age and gender, measured by MR images in the population aged 15– 75 years.

Patients and methods:
A total of 300 individuals without proven optic nerve pathology or cerebrospinal fluid pathway pathology were included in the study (150 men, 150 women); 600 measurements of the optic nerve (4 sections), 300 measurements of the optic chiasm, and 600 measurements of 2 optic sheath sections were carried out using a 1.5 T MRI device. Statistical analysis employed the ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis parametric test and a non-parametric GLMM (generalized linear mixed model) test.

We proved a statistically significant difference between age groups of men and women for optic nerve sections 1– 4 and optic sheath sections A and B, as well as a statistically significant difference between genders for the optic nerve sections 1– 4 and both optic sheath sections. Growth in dimensions in optic nerve sections 1– 4 and optic sheaths A and B was demonstrated from the 15– 25-year-old age group up to the 45– 55-year-old age group; after that, there is an unambiguous reduction in dimensions towards the 55-year-old age group and above. Section 5 (the chiasm) demonstrated no statistically significant changes in dimensions in relation to age in the respective set.

We proved a statistically significant age and gender influence on the dimensions of optic nerve and its sheath. This dependence was not proven by measurements of the optic chiasm.

Key words:
magnetic resonance imaging – optic nerve – sheath of optic nerve – normal distribution – gender – age

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manuscript met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


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Paediatric neurology Neurosurgery Neurology

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