A comparison of rates of change in neuroretinal rim area and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in progressive glaucoma

Academic Article


  • Purpose. To evaluate and compare rates of change in neuro-retinal rim area (RA) and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) measurements in glaucoma patients, those with suspected glaucoma, and normal subjects observed over time. Methods. In this observational cohort study, patients recruited from two longitudinal studies (Diagnostic Innovations in Glaucoma Study-DIGS and African Descent and Evaluation Study-ADAGES) were observed with standard achromatic perimetry (SAP), optic disc stereophotographs, confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (HRT-3; Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany), and scanning laser polarimetry (GDx-VCC; Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, CA). Glaucoma progression was determined by the Guided Progression Analysis software for standard automated perimetry [SAP] and by masked assessment of serial optic disc stereophotographs by expert graders. Random-coefficients models were used to evaluate rates of change in average RNFLT and global RA measurements and their relationship with glaucoma progression. Results. At baseline, 194 (31%) eyes were glaucomatous, 347 (55%) had suspected glaucoma, and 88 (14%) were normal. Forty-six (9%) eyes showed progression by SAP and/or stereophotographs, during an average follow-up of 33 (±0.7) years. The average rate of decline for RNFLT measurements was significantly higher in the progressing group than in the non-progressing group (-0.65 vs. -0.11 μm/y, respectively; P < 0.001), whereas RA decline was not significantly different between these groups (-0.0058 vs. -0.0073 mm2/y, respectively; P = 0.727). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves used to discriminate progressing versus nonprogressing eyes were 0.811 and 0.507 for the rates of change in the RNFLT and RA, respectively (P < 0.001). Conclusions. The ability to discriminate eyes with progressing glaucoma by SAP and/or stereophotographs from stable eyes was significantly greater for RNFLT than for RA measurements. © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
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    Author List

  • Alencar LM; Zangwill LM; Weinreb RN; Bowd C; Sample PA; Girkin CA; Liebmann JM; Medeiros FA
  • Start Page

  • 3531
  • End Page

  • 3539
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 7