The Hidden Gamma Zone
Dr Shreya Jaiswal, Dr Sarang Lambat, Dr Prabhat Nangia, Dr Vinay Nangia
Suraj Eye Institute, 559 New Colony, Nagpur
A female 48 years of age came for a regular examination. Her best corrected visual acuity was 6/6, N6 in both eyes. Autorefractometer reading showed a value of -12.25 DS +2.50 DC at 5 degrees in the right eye and -5.00 DS +0.75 DC at 5 degrees in the left eye. Her intraocular pressure was 16 mmHg in both eye. Her axial length of right eye was 26.14 mm and left eye was 24.31 mm. Central corneal thickness was 518 microns in right eye and 488 microns in the left eye.
The gamma zone ( which is the space and area between the Bruch’s membrane margin and the margin of the optic disc) starts developing at different ages in different individuals with different axial lengths. Multiple parameters in the growth of the axial length may be involved, as well as the interplay of the peripapillary tissues. In early stages, on clinical examination of the optic disc and or on the colour photograph, it is often difficult to identify the presence of the gamma zone and its margin may often appear to be the clinical margin of the optic disc. When the gamma zone becomes more evolved with hyper reflectivity of the sclera and development of the scleral flange it also becomes more easily identifiable on the colour photo. However on the infrared image, an early gamma zone is seen easily and of course on the EDI image of the optic disc. Gamma zone is known to be associated with moderate and high myopia and longer axial length. Presence of gamma zone has implications in clinical assessment of the optic disc in glaucoma, because the origin of the blood vessels, the shape of the cup and the neuroretinal rim and the intraoptic disc morphometric correlations are significantly altered. In addition the presence of a gamma zone has a correlation also with reduced vision in myopes.
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Dr Vinay Nangia
MS, FRCS, FRCOphth
Suraj Eye Institute