The objectives of the present study are to determine the effects of alcohol use on the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and macular thickness of abstinent patients with alcohol use disorders (AUD) and to assess whether it correlates with alcohol consumption and/or cognitive impairment. This was a prospective, observational study that included 21 patients (42 eyes) and 21 controls (42 eyes). Patients met the criteria for early remission AUD at the moment of inclusion. We used optical coherence tomography to assess retinal thickness. Macular thickness in the group of AUD patients was lower in all quadrants (p
< 0.05), with the exception of the peripheral and central. Regarding the nerve fiber layer in the macular and papilla areas, we found no significant differences. At the retina ganglion cell layer and in the nerve fiber of the macula, we found significant differences in all quadrants (p
< 0.05), with the exception of the superior and superior nasal area, for the right eye. For the left eye, the only differences were found in the lower quadrant. Finally, when comparing the AUD patients to the controls, we found significant reductions in the ganglion cell layer of the macula in all quadrants in the former. There was a significant correlation between these findings and cognitive impairment (measured with the Test de Detección de Deterioro Cognitivo en Alcoholismo (TEDCA)), but not with alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is correlated with retinal harm and related cognitive decline.
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