Optic Nerve Head Drusen and Visual Field Loss in Normotensive and Hypertensive Eyes

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To compare visual field loss (VFL) in eyes with optic nerve head drusen (ONHD) with or without ocular hypertension (OHT).


The records of all patients aged 45 years or older with a diagnosis of ONHD at 2 centers were reviewed. OHT was defined as intraocular pressure ≥22 mm Hg. We categorized ONHD into 3 grades based on visibility on disc photographs.


We identified 22 eyes (13 patients) with both ONHD and OHT and 81 normotensive eyes (47 patients) with ONHD. VFL was present in 20/22 (90.9%) of hypertensive eyes compared with 54/81 (66.7%) of normotensive eyes (P=0.03, Fisher exact test). Drusen grade III and OHT were both independently and significantly associated with greater incidence of VFL (logistic regression analysis).


VFL occurs more frequently in eyes with ONHD that also have OHT. Eyes with grade III ONHD are at increased risk for VFL compared to eyes with grade I drusen with the same intraocular pressure status. Patients with OHT and ONHD should undergo close surveillance for disease progression and be treated appropriately to prevent additional VFL.

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