Predictive Value of the Water Drinking Test and the Risk of Glaucomatous Visual Field Progression

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The purpose of this is to test the hypothesis the intraocular pressure (IOP) peaks during a stress test [the water drinking test (WDT)] can estimate the risk of future visual field progression in treated primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients.

Patients and Methods:

Design: Prospective, longitudinal study. Setting: Clinical practice. Study population: Treated POAG patients whose IOP was ≤18 mm Hg and who had no IOP-lowering interventions between the date of the WDT and the last eligible visual field. Intervention: At baseline examination, patients underwent the WDT and were then followed at regular intervals with office-based IOP measurements and visual field testing. Main outcome measure: Cox-proportional hazards survival analysis testing the predictive value of IOP peaks during the WDT versus IOP measurements during office hours on visual field progression.


A total of 144 eyes of 96 patients with baseline visual field damage ranging from mild to severe followed for a mean of 28 months were analyzed. In the multivariable analysis adjusting for potential confounders, higher IOP peaks during the WDT were predictive of future visual field progression (hazard ratio=1.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.21; P=0.013). The average and peak IOP during office hours over the same follow-up period were not significantly associated with progression (P=0.651 and 0.569, respectively).


IOP peaks detected with the WDT were predictive of future visual field progression in a treated POAG population. This stress test could be a useful tool for risk assessment in daily practice.

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