Predictive Factors for Visual Field Conversion: Comparison of Scanning Laser Polarimetry and Optical Coherence Tomography

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The purpose of this study was to compare the ability of scanning laser polarimetry (SLP) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) to predict future visual field conversion of subjects with ocular hypertension and early glaucoma.


All patients were recruited from the Erlangen glaucoma registry and examined using standard automated perimetry, 24-hour intraocular pressure profile, and optic disc photography. Peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFL) measurements were obtained by SLP (GDx-VCC) and SD-OCT (Spectralis OCT). Positive and negative predictive values (PPV, NPV) were calculated for morphologic parameters of SLP and SD-OCT. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were plotted and log-rank tests were performed to compare the survival distributions. Contingency tables and Venn-diagrams were calculated to compare the predictive ability.


The study included 207 patients—75 with ocular hypertension, 85 with early glaucoma, and 47 controls. Median follow-up was 4.5 years. A total of 29 patients (14.0%) developed visual field conversion during follow-up. SLP temporal-inferior RNFL [0.667; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.281-0.935] and SD-OCT temporal-inferior RNFL (0.571; 95% CI, 0.317-0.802) achieved the highest PPV; nerve fiber indicator (0.923; 95% CI, 0.876-0.957) and SD-OCT mean (0.898; 95% CI, 0.847-0.937) achieved the highest NPV of all investigated parameters. The Kaplan-Meier curves confirmed significantly higher survival for subjects within normal limits of measurements of both devices (P<0.001). Venn diagrams tested with McNemar test statistics showed no significant difference for PPV (P=0.219) or NPV (P=0.678).


Both GDx-VCC and SD-OCT demonstrate comparable results in predicting future visual field conversion if taking typical scans for GDx-VCC. In addition, the likelihood ratios suggest that GDx-VCC’s nerve fiber indicator<30 may be the most useful parameter to confirm future nonconversion. ( number, NTC00494923; Erlangen Glaucoma Registry).

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