Purpose: To investigate the association between control of intraocular pressure after surgical intervention for glaucoma and visual field deterioration.
Methods: In the Advanced Glaucoma Intervention Study, eyes were randomly assigned to one of two sequences of glaucoma surgery, one beginning with argon laser trabeculoplasty and the other trabeculectomy. In the present article we examine the relationship between intraocular pressure and progression of visual field damage over 6 or more years of follow-up. In the first analysis, designated Predictive Analysis, we categorize 738 eyes into three groups based on intraocular pressure determinations over the first three 6-month follow-up visits. In the second analysis, designated Associative Analysis, we categorize 586 eyes into four groups based on the percent of 6-month visits over the first 6 follow-up years in which eyes presented with intraocular pressure less than 18 mm Hg. The outcome measure in both analyses is change from baseline in follow-up visual field defect score (range, 0 to 20 units).
Results: In the Predictive Analysis, eyes with early average intraocular pressure greater than 17.5 mm Hg had an estimated worsening during subsequent follow-up that was 1 unit of visual field defect score greater than eyes with average intraocular pressure less than 14 mm Hg (P =.002). This amount of worsening was greater at 7 years (1.89 units; P <.001) than at 2 years (0.64 units; P =.071). In the Associative Analysis, eyes with 100% of visits with intraocular pressure less than 18 mm Hg over 6 years had mean changes from baseline in visual field defect score close to zero during follow-up, whereas eyes with less than 50% of visits with intraocular pressure less than 18 mm Hg had an estimated worsening over follow-up of 0.63 units of visual field defect score (P =.083). This amount of worsening was greater at 7 years (1.93 units; P <.001) than at 2 years (0.25 units; P =.572).
Conclusions: In both analyses low intraocular pressure is associated with reduced progression of visual field defect, supporting evidence from earlier studies of a protective role for low intraocular pressure in visual field deterioration.