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Clinical Sciences
November 1999

Achromatic and Short-Wavelength Automated Perimetry in Patients With Glaucomatous Large Cups

Author Affiliations

From the Glaucoma Center and Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(11):1473-1477. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.11.1473

Objective  To evaluate visual function and optic disc features in patients with large cup-disc ratios (C/Ds).

Methods  One eye of 86 patients with vertical C/Ds by contour of at least 0.8, who had undergone both standard achromatic automated perimetry (SAP) and short-wavelength automated perimetry (SWAP) testing, was selected retrospectively. Two masked glaucoma specialists independently graded stereoscopic photographs for vertical C/Ds, rim thinning, notching, excavation, optic disc hemorrhages, and nerve fiber layer defects. Visual fields were classified as abnormal if the glaucoma hemifield test result, corrected pattern standard deviation, or mean deviation was outside age-specific normal limits. Confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy was used to determine disc area.

Results  SAP and SWAP results were abnormal in 44 (51%) and 52 (60%) of 86 patients, respectively. In patients with normal SAP results, SWAP results were abnormal in 14 (33%) of 42 patients. In patients with normal SWAP results, SAP results were abnormal in 6 (18%) of 34 patients. Small discs are associated with an abnormal SAP result (P=.01) and an abnormal SWAP result (P=.09). An increased vertical C/D greater than the qualifying level of 0.8 was associated with an abnormal SAP or SWAP result (P≤.001). Rim thinning (P=.01) and disc hemorrhages (P=.04) were associated with an abnormal SAP result.

Conclusions  Many patients with large C/Ds have normal SAP and SWAP results. Compared with SAP, SWAP results were abnormal in a higher percentage of these patients. If a patient has a large C/D and normal SAP results, SWAP testing may detect functional loss earlier. If glaucoma is defined by both structural and functional loss, patients with large vertical C/Ds, normal SAP results, and abnormal SWAP results may have glaucoma. Longitudinal studies are needed to assess this hypothesis and determine whether these patients subsequently develop abnormal SAP results as well.