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Ophthalmology. 1997 Mar;104(3):532-8.

Repeatable diffuse visual field loss in open-angle glaucoma.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.



The authors determined the frequency of repeatable diffuse loss as the only form of visual field damage in patients with early to moderate open-angle glaucoma in a prospective follow-up study.


The study contained 113 patients (median age, 64 years; range, 17-89 years) who were tested at 6-month intervals with program 30-2 of the Humphrey Field Analyzer (Humphrey Instruments Inc., San Leandro, CA). Although the inclusion criterion for visual acuity was > or = 20/40, on entry, 94 (83.2%) patients had an acuity of > or = 20/25. Cumulative defect curves were generated for all visual fields (median per patient, 7; range, 4-9). After randomizing the order and removing all patient information, two observers independently rated each visual field as being "normal" or showing "diffuse," "localized," or "diffuse and localized" loss. We defined repeatable diffuse loss as occurring when at least two thirds of the number of fields in the follow-up were classified as "diffuse."


Fourteen patients (12.4%) had repeatable diffuse loss according to the cumulative defect curves. After reviewing their clinical charts, we excluded six of these patients because of early lens changes despite good visual acuity and three because of a suggestion of localized loss (on pattern deviation probability plots) in addition to the predominantly diffuse loss. The remaining five (4.4%) patients had repeatable diffuse loss that was due solely to open-angle glaucoma.


Although diffuse visual field loss is exaggerated by factors other than glaucoma in the majority of patients, it can occur repeatedly in a small number of patients as the only sign of visual field damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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