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J Glaucoma. 2006 Apr;15(2):110-6.

Comparison of objective diagnostic tests in glaucoma: Heidelberg retinal tomography and multifocal visual evoked potentials.

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  • 1Save Sight Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.



To compare sensitivity and specificity of functional and structural changes in glaucoma using two objective tests: the multifocal visual evoked potential (m-VEP) and Heidelberg retinal tomography II (HRT).


41 glaucoma patients and 25 normal individuals participated in the study. One eye per individual was included in the study. Individuals were evaluated with Humphrey visual field (HVF) perimetry, m-VEP, and HRT. Moorfield regression analysis findings of HRT were compared with presence of scotoma on m-VEP. Linear regression analysis of quantitative variables, such as HVF mean deviation (MD), m-VEP discriminant score (Accumap Severity Index) and, global HRT parameters was also performed.


m-VEP sensitivity and specificity were 93% and 96% respectively. HRT sensitivity and specificity were 79% and 92% respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) for m-VEP was 0.96 and for HRT varied from 0.79 to 0.86 depending on the parameters used. Linear correlation between MD and Accumap Severity Index score was -77%, while that between HRT global parameters, Accumap Severity Index and MD were at best around 50%. Topographic comparison of the presence of scotoma on HVF and m-VEP in different areas of the visual field showed good agreement. Comparison of optic nerve head structural abnormality with corresponding areas of field defects on HVF and m-VEP showed poor to moderate agreement.


The objective test of optic nerve function (m-VEP) and structure (HRT) can detect glaucomatous damage, with limited correlation. The 2 functional tests, HVF and m-VEP correlate better with each other than with HRT. It remains important to look for both functional and structural changes in order to detect all glaucoma cases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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