Sex differences in macular thickness of the retina in patients with psychosis spectrum disorders

Stefan Jerotic, Nikola Lalovic, Slobodanka Pejovic, Marina Mihaljevic, Zorana Pavlovic, Dubravka Britvic, Dijana Risimic, Ivan Soldatovic, Steven M. Silverstein, Nadja P. Maric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Imaging of retinal structure in psychosis spectrum disorders (PSD) is a novel approach to studying effect of this illness class on CNS structure. Studies of optical coherence tomography (OCT) have revealed significant reductions in regarding: retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), macular thickness (MT), ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL) and macular volume (MV). Sex differences in retinal structure in PSD have not been previously explored. Methods: This cross-sectional pilot study included 81 participant of age matched patients and controls. There were no differences between genders regarding illness duration and antipsychotic daily dose in the patient group. SD-OCT assessed RNFL, GC-IPL, MT, MV, and optic nerve cup-to-disc (C/D) ratio. In order to assess the main effects of illness, sex, and illness × sex interaction on the retinal parameters, general linear model was performed. Results: Patients demonstrated abnormalities on all OCT indices. Effects of sex were observed for central subfield MT and C/D ratio, which were lower in females. An illness × sex interaction effect was observed for the left MT, indicating greater thinning in female patients. Conclusion: Sex differences in OCT findings in PSD appear to be most prominent considering macular parameters. These preliminary data may have important implications for the valid interpretation of OCT findings as potential biomarkers for PSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110280
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StatePublished - Aug 30 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology


  • Macula
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Psychosis spectrum disorders
  • Retina
  • Sex differences


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