Retinal layers and associated clinical factors in schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Hiroshi Komatsu, Goh Onoguchi, Stefan Jerotic, Nobuhisa Kanahara, Yoshihisa Kakuto, Takashi Ono, Shunichi Funakoshi, Takeshi Yabana, Toru Nakazawa, Hiroaki Tomita

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The retina shares structural and functional similarities with the brain. Furthermore, structural changes in the retina have been observed in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs). This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated retinal abnormalities and their association with clinical factors for SSD. Methods: Studies related to retinal layers in SSD patients were retrieved from PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials, International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and PSYNDEX databases from inception to March 31, 2021. We screened and assessed the eligibility of the identified studies. EZR ver.1.54 and the metafor package in R were used for the meta-analysis and a random-effects or fixed-effects model was used to report standardized mean differences (SMDs). Results: Twenty-three studies (2079 eyes of patients and 1571 eyes of controls) were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. The average peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness, average macular thickness (MT), and macular ganglion cell layer-inner plexiform layer (GCL-IPL) thickness were significantly lower in patients than in controls (n = 14, 6, and 3, respectively; SMD = −0.33, −0.49, and −0.43, respectively). Patients also had significantly reduced macular volume (MV) compared to controls (n = 7; SMD = −0.53). The optic cup volume (OCV) was significantly larger in patients than in controls (n = 3; SMD = 0.28). The meta-regression analysis indicated an association between several clinical factors, such as duration of illness and the effect size of the pRNFL, macular GCL-IPL, MT, and MV. Conclusion: Thinning of the pRNFL, macular GCL-IPL, MT, and MV and enlargement of the OCV in SSD were observed. Retinal abnormalities may be applicable as state/trait markers in SSDs. The accumulated evidence was mainly cross-sectional and requires verification by longitudinal studies to characterize the relationship between OCT findings and clinical factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3592-3616
Number of pages25
JournalMolecular psychiatry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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