The Effect of Nimodipine, a Centrally Active Calcium Antagonist, on Visual Function and Macular Blood Flow in Patients with Normal-Tension Glaucoma and Control Subjects

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Abstract

Purpose

This study was performed to evaluate the effect of nimodipinc, a centrally active calcium channel antagonist on automated Humphrey visual fields, Farnsworth-Munsell 100 (FM-100) hue color vision testing, and macular blood flow (blue field entoptic simulation technique) in patients with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG) and control subjects.

Methods

Thirteen patients with NTG and thirteen age-and sex-matched control subjects were studied in a prospective, placebo-controlled, double-masked, crossover protocol. On each of the two study dates, testing was performed at baseline and 90 minutes after administration of either two 30-mg nimodipinc capsules or two identical appearing placebo capsules. Blood pressure and pulse were monitored throughout the study.

Results

Nimodipinc administration resulted in a performance corrected improvement in Humphrey visual field mean deviation (patients with NTG and control subjects), corrected pattern standard deviation (patients with NTG), and macular sensitivity (the average of the foveal threshold and the four most central points of the visual field; patients with NTG). The FM-100 hue error scores significantly decreased after administration of nimodipine in patients with NTG and control subjects compared with baseline. There were no significant differences in baseline leukocyte velocity or density between patients with NTG and control subjects; no significant changes in leukocyte velocity or density were noted after administration of nimodipine in either group.

Conclusion

Nimodipine caused a significant performance corrected improvement in visual field testing and a significant improvement in color vision. Nimodipine did not alter macular hemodynamics as measured using the blue field entoptic simulation technique, although results were hampered by high variability, particularly in the leukocyte density measurements.

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