Comparative studies of RNFL thickness measured by OCT with global index of visual fields in patients with ocular hypertension and early open angle glaucoma

Athens University Medical School, Department of Ophthalmology, Athens, Greece.
Clinical ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.) 02/2009; 3:373-9. DOI: 10.2147/OPTH.S6150
Source: PubMed


To compare the functional changes in visual fields with optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings in patients with ocular hypertension, open angle glaucoma, and suspected glaucoma. In addition, our purpose is to evaluate the correlation of global indices with the structural glaucomatous defect, to assess their statistical importance in all the groups of our study, and to estimate their validity to the clinical practice.
One hundred sixty nine eyes (140 patients) were enrolled. The patients were classified in three groups. Group 1 consisted of 54 eyes with ocular hypertension, group 2 of 42 eyes with preperimetric glaucoma, and group 3 of 73 eyes with chronic open angle glaucoma. All of them underwent ophthalmic examination according to a prefixed protocol, OCT exam (Stratus 3000) for retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measurement with fast RNFL thickness protocol and visual fields (VF) examination with Octopus perimeter (G2 program, central 30-2 threshold strategy). Pearson correlation was calculated between RNFL thickness and global index of VF.
A moderate correlation between RNFL thickness and indices mean sensitivity (MS), mean defect (MD) and loss variance (LV) of VF (0.547, -0.582, -0.527, respectively; P <0.001) was observed for all patients. Correlations of the ocular hypertension and preperimetric groups are weak. Correlation of RNFL thickness with global indices becomes stronger as the structural alterations become deeper in OCT exam. Correlation of RNFL thickness with the global index of VF, in respective segments around optic disk was also calculated and was found significant in the nasal, inferior, superior, and temporal segments.
RNFL average thickness is not a reliable index for early diagnosis of glaucoma and for the follow-up of patients with ocular hypertension. Segmental RNFL thickness seems to be a more reliable index. Deep structural alterations with OCT examination constitute an important indication of early functional changes, even if they are not still detected with achromatic perimetry. The MD index of VF seems to be more sensitive for the follow-up of patients with ocular hypertension.

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