March 28, 2014
1 min read

Rate of retinal nerve fiber layer loss greater in eyes with visual field damage

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The rate of retinal nerve fiber layer loss is 2.5 times greater in eyes that develop visual field damage than in eyes that do not develop visual field damage, a study found.

The prospective study included 454 eyes of 294 glaucoma suspects; 183 suspects (62.2%) were women, 202 (68.7%) were of European descent, and 92 (31.3%) were of African descent. Forty eyes (8.8%) showed signs of repeatable visual field damage, and 414 eyes did not.

Over a median follow-up of 2.2 years, there was an average of 4.6 spectral-domain optical coherence tomography examinations. Follow-up took place every 6 months and included slit lamp biomicroscopy, IOP measurement, dilated stereoscopic fundus examination and stereophotography of the optic nerve head.

Age, race, IOP and central corneal thickness did not play a significant role in the risk for visual field damage development.

The mean rate of retinal nerve fiber layer loss was faster in eyes that developed visual field damage than in eyes that did not in the superior, inferior and nasal regions (–2.02 µm/year vs. –0.82 µm/year; P = .001).

The study authors said that the rate of retinal nerve fiber layer loss, as measured with SD-OCT, may help identify glaucoma suspects who are at high risk for developing visual field damage.

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.