Purpose of review: This review summarizes factors for progression in the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial (EMGT), including the effect of treatment. EMGT randomized patients with early glaucoma either to argon laser trabeculoplasty plus betaxolol (n = 129) or to no immediate treatment (n = 126) and followed them every 3 months.
Recent findings: Treated patients had delayed progression, as compared with controls. In Cox regression, EMGT treatment halved the risk of progression (hazard ratio = 0.50; 95% confidence interval: 0.35, 0.71). Risk decreased about 10% with each millimeter mercury of intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction from baseline; the higher (or lower) the IOP at follow-up, the higher (or lower) the risk. Baseline factors increasing progression were higher IOP, exfoliation, bilateral disease, worse perimetric mean deviation and older age; frequent disc hemorrhages at follow-up also increased risk.
Summary: EMGT treatment reduced progression risk in half, demonstrating the value of IOP lowering in early glaucoma. Age and indicators of disease severity also predicted progression.