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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 160454, 7 pages
Review Article

Advanced Morphological and Functional Magnetic Resonance Techniques in Glaucoma

1Ophthalmology Unit, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, 37121 Verona, Italy
2Ophthalmology Clinic, Department of Medicine and Aging Science, G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, 65100 Chieti, Italy
3Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, 65100 Chieti, Italy

Received 13 September 2014; Revised 13 December 2014; Accepted 24 December 2014

Academic Editor: Antonio Ferreras

Copyright © 2015 Rodolfo Mastropasqua et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glaucoma is a multifactorial disease that is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Recent data documented that glaucoma is not limited to the retinal ganglion cells but that it also extends to the posterior visual pathway. The diagnosis is based on the presence of signs of glaucomatous optic neuropathy and consistent functional visual field alterations. Unfortunately these functional alterations often become evident when a significant amount of the nerve fibers that compose the optic nerve has been irreversibly lost. Advanced morphological and functional magnetic resonance (MR) techniques (morphometry, diffusion tensor imaging, arterial spin labeling, and functional connectivity) may provide a means for observing modifications induced by this fiber loss, within the optic nerve and the visual cortex, in an earlier stage. The aim of this systematic review was to determine if the use of these advanced MR techniques could offer the possibility of diagnosing glaucoma at an earlier stage than that currently possible.