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March 1998

Selectivity in Glaucoma Injury

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(3):396-397. doi:

In their article in the September 1997 issue of the ARCHIVES, Sample et al1 state that their psychophysical testing "calls into question the theory that magnocellular optic nerve fibers show the earliest functional loss from glaucoma." However, they admit that their results "do not address whether larger optic nerve fibers per se . . . are damaged before smaller parvocellular fibers." Indeed, they have not studied or provided any direct evidence on the histopathologic characteristics of human and experimental glaucoma in this article or anywhere else. Yet, in the "Abstract" section of their article, they claim "that damage due to glaucoma is nonselective for either the parvocellular or the magnocellular ganglion cell axons." It was surprising to find concrete anatomical conclusions drawn from 2 psychophysical tests in 50 persons in whom glaucoma was suspected (glaucoma suspects) or established.