Topical prostaglandin analogs (PGAs) are common treatment for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) but reportedly may cause adnexal fat atrophy. We asked if patients with POAG treated with PGAs have abnormalities in orbital fat volume (OFV).
We studied 23 subjects with POAG who had never experienced intraocular pressure (IOP) exceeding 21 mm Hg and were treated long term with PGAs, in comparison with 21 age-matched controls. Orbital volume, non-fat orbital tissue volume, and OFV were measured using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging.
Subjects with POAG had been treated with PGAs for 39 ± 19 months (SD) and were all treated within the 4 months preceding study. In the region from trochlea to orbital apex, OFV in POAG was significantly less at 9.8 ± 1.9 mL than in the control subjects at 11.1 ± 1.3 mL (P = 0.019). However, between the globe-optic nerve junction (GONJ) and trochlea, OFV was similar in both groups. Width and cross sectional area of the bony orbit were significantly smaller in POAG than in controls (P < 0.0001). Posterior to the GONJ, the average orbital cross-sectional area was 68.2 mm2 smaller, and the orbital width averaged 1.5 mm smaller throughout the orbit, in patients with POAG than in controls.
Patients with POAG who have been treated with PGAs have lower overall OFV than controls, but OFV in the anterior orbit is similar in both groups. Lower overall OFV in POAG may be a primary association of this disorder with a horizontally narrower bony orbit, which may be a risk factor for POAG at nonelevated IOPs.