2016.08.26 Press Release

Development of a method to automatically classify optic disc structure in glaucoma patients, via OCT-based quantification. The road to personalized medicine in patients with a variety of glaucoma types.

A research group led by Professor Toru Nakazawa of the Department of Ophthalmology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine has reported that thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor as a key factor of Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension GATA2 regulates dendritic cell differentiation.

• This study describes a highly accurate swept-source OCT-based method to quantify optic disc structure.
• This study describes a method to automatically classify the optic disc.
• This study helps subdivide glaucoma patients according to a variety of morphologies, allowing the provision of personalized medicine.

Prof. Toru Nakazawa of Tohoku University Graduate School Of Medicine, in cooperation with the Topcon Corporation, has developed new software to quantify the structure of the optic disc in glaucoma patients and automatically classify its type, via the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) analysis. Optic disc type is known to be an important part of the decision-making process in glaucoma treatment. Moreover, intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor for glaucoma progression, and reducing IOP is well established as a useful treatment for glaucoma. However, glaucoma has many other risk factors, such as ocular circulation, myopia, blood pressure, and spasm. Reducing IOP is not enough to adequately prevent glaucoma progression in patients with these risk factors. Previously, Nicolela established that there are four types of optic disc, each with a distinctive morphology, and that these four types have characteristic clinical backgrounds and risk factors. Nicolela’s classification is a useful basis on which to subdivide glaucoma patients and choose the most appropriate treatment. However, using Nicolela’s method to assign optic disc type to individual patients can sometimes be difficult, because current examination techniques are subjective, and the results can vary between individual examiners. In this study, we describe novel software that can identify the optic disc in swept-source OCT scans and classify it accurately and objectively. This is an important achievement that promises to help us investigate numerous potential pathologies in glaucoma, and to provide glaucoma patients with personalized medicine.

The research result was published in PLOS ONE on July 20, 2016. The paper’s title is “OCT-based Quantification and Classification Of Optic Disc Structure in Glaucoma Patients”

(About the research)
Professor Toru NAKAZAWA
Department of Ophthalmology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
TEL: +81-22-717-7294
E-mail: ntoru* (Replace * with @)

(Public Relations)
Lecturer Hitoshi Inada
Public Relations Office of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
TEL: +81-22-717-7891 FAX: +81-22-717-8187
E-mail: pr-office* (Replace * with @)