Wang and associates recently presented findings on the association of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness with preterm birth. They measured RNFL thickness using a Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography instrument in a cohort of 25 preterm children at a mean age of 10 ± 3.7 years and compared findings with 54 full-term controls (9.8 ± 3.2 years old). They report that RNFL global average was significantly thinner in the preterm group, whereas temporal RNFL was significantly thicker in this group, compared with controls.
When examining the relationship of quadrant RNFL thickness with axial length (AL) and myopia, it has been previously found that the superotemporal and inferotemporal RNFL bundles are shifted temporally in longer eyes. This leads to temporal RNFL having a positive relationship with increasing AL/myopia.
The preterm group in Wang and associates’ study had a spherical equivalent range of −14.75 to 11 diopters (D) (mean −0.6 ± 4.7 D), whereas the full-term children had a range of −3 to 1 D (mean value not presented). Given the presence of individuals with greater degrees of myopia in the preterm group and previously described association of myopia with temporal RNFL thickening, we suggest that the authors provide more information on how prematurity correlated with myopia in their sample and discuss their results with consideration given to the potential impact of myopia on temporal RNFL thickness.