Classification of visual field abnormalities in the ocular hypertension treatment study

Arch Ophthalmol. 2003 May;121(5):643-50. doi: 10.1001/archopht.121.5.643.


Objectives: (1) To develop a classification system for visual field (VF) abnormalities, (2) to determine interreader and test-retest agreement, and (3) to determine the frequency of various VF defects in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study.

Methods: Follow-up VFs are performed every 6 months and are monitored for abnormality, indicated by a glaucoma hemifield test result or a corrected pattern SD outside the normal limits. As of January 1, 2002, 1636 patients had 2509 abnormal VFs. Three readers independently classified each hemifield using a classification system developed at the VF reading center. A subset (50%) of the abnormal VFs was reread to evaluate test-retest reader agreement. A mean deviation was calculated separately for the hemifields as an index to the severity of VF loss.

Main outcome measures: A 97% interreader hemifield agreement.

Results: The average hemifield classification agreement (between any 2 of 3 readers) for 5018 hemifields was 97% and 88% for the 1266 abnormal VFs that were reread (agreement between the first and second classifications). Glaucomatous patterns of loss (partial arcuate, paracentral, and nasal step defects) composed the majority of VF defects.

Conclusion: The Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study classification system has high reproducibility and provides a possible nomenclature for characterizing VF defects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Observer Variation
  • Ocular Hypertension / classification*
  • Ocular Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Ocular Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vision Disorders / classification*
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Visual Field Tests / standards
  • Visual Fields*


  • Antihypertensive Agents