Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Ophthalmol. 2003 Feb;135(2):148-54.

Structure and function evaluation (SAFE): II. Comparison of optic disk and visual field characteristics.

Author information

Discoveries in Sight Research Labs, Devers Eye Institute, Portland, Oregon 97210, USA.



To evaluate the relationship between glaucomatous structural damage to the optic nerve and development of visual field loss with standard automated perimetry (SAP) and short wavelength automated perimetry (SWAP).


Cohort study.


Patients with elevated intraocular pressure and normal SAP visual fields were enrolled in this prospective study. Stereo optic disk photographs, SAP, and SWAP visual fields were obtained annually over a period of 4 or more years. Trained readers evaluated baseline and follow-up optic disk photographs for evidence of glaucomatous damage. Standard automated perimetry and SWAP examinations were evaluated according to previously validated criteria for development of confirmed visual field changes.


Two-hundred ninety-five subjects (479 eyes) were enrolled. Following masked assessment of stereo photographs by an optic disk reading center, 272 of the 479 eyes were judged to have glaucomatous optic neuropathy at the time of study entry. Depending on the criteria employed, approximately 10% to 17.5% of all eyes developed confirmed visual field loss for SAP (conversions). Of the conversions, 75% to 80% had baseline glaucomatous optic disk damage, whereas normal and glaucomatous optic disks were equally divided (50%) among the nonconversion eyes. This difference was statistically significant (P <.003). Depending on the criteria employed, 4% to 12% of the eyes had confirmed SWAP deficits at baseline, and 4% to 8% developed confirmed SWAP defects at a follow-up examination. There was a greater percentage of eyes with a glaucomatous optic neuropathy in the group with SWAP deficits (75%-100%) than for those eyes in which SWAP remained normal (45%-60%). Some of these differences were statistically significant (P <.05).


A strong relationship exists between glaucomatous optic disk damage at study entry and the subsequent development of a confirmed glaucomatous SAP visual field defect. A higher percentage of glaucomatous optic disks were also found in patients with SWAP deficits at baseline and in those who later developed SWAP deficits. These findings support the premise that a glaucomatous optic disk is predictive of the subsequent development of glaucomatous visual field loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center