[Absolute filling defects of the optic disc in fluorescein angiograms in glaucoma--a retrospective clinical study]

Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2001 Apr;218(4):214-21. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-14916.
[Article in German]


Background: Analysis of clinical importance of the size of filling defects in fluorescein angiograms in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), normal-tension glaucoma (NTG), ocular hypertension and subjects with physiological excavations in comparison to visual field loss, optic nerve head morphology and hemodynamics.

Patients and methods: 75 patients (POAG, NTG, ocular hypertension) and 10 healthy subjects with physiological excavations were included in this study. In digitized video fluorescein angiograms (Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope) the size of absolute filling defects of the optic disc was quantified in the early venous phase and expressed by percentage of the optic disc. Visual fields were obtained by conventional static perimetry (Humphrey 24-2) and graded in stages of glaucoma visual field defects (Aulhorn I-V). Optic disc excavations were evaluated as cup-to-disc-area-ratios.

Results: The filling defects correlated with the visual-field loss stages of Aulhorn and the visual field indices MD (mean deviation), PSD (pattern standard deviation) and CPSD (corrected pattern standard deviation). There was no correlation with the index SF (short-term fluctuation) and with systemic hemodynamics (blood pressure, perfusion pressure) or the IOP. Absolute filling defects correlated with the cup-to-disc-area-ratio in NTG. The absolute filling defects were larger in patients with glaucoma (POAG, NTG) in comparison to patients without glaucomatous visual field loss (ocular hypertension, glaucoma-like discs). No difference of filling defects was found in the glaucoma group (POAG, NTG). Patients with NTG had larger excavations and lower systolic blood pressures than patients with POAG.

Conclusion: The size of fluorescein filling defects may be useful as a parameter for the evaluation of an ischemic lesion of the optic nerve head. Absolute filling defects may differentiate POAG from ocular hypertension and NTG from glaucoma-like discs without field defects. The results support the hypothesis that in POAG and NTG disturbances of the circulation result in similar filling defects of the optic disc and visual field loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Fluorescein Angiography*
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Optic Disk / blood supply
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Optic Neuropathy, Ischemic / physiopathology
  • Visual Fields