Glaucomatous optic nerve damage is typically associated with intrapapillary changes, such as neuroretinal rim loss. In this study, parapapillary chorioretinal atrophy was evaluated in 691 normal eyes, 1081 glaucomatous eyes, and 31 eyes with ocular hypertension. It was significantly larger and occurred more often in the glaucomatous eyes (parapapillary atrophy area, 1.07 +/- 0.83 mm2) (mean +/- SD) than in the normal eyes (0.55 +/- 0.64 mm2) or in the eyes with ocular hypertension (0.55 +/- 0.37 mm2). These differences were significant also for eyes with moderate glaucomatous damage (0.86 +/- 0.62 mm2). Parapapillary chorioretinal atrophy was associated with shallow glaucomatous cupping, diffuse nerve fiber loss, a marked tessellated fundus, and only moderately elevated intraocular pressure. It increased with a decreasing neuroretinal rim area. It showed a spatial correlation to neuroretinal rim loss inside the optic disc. In unilateral glaucoma, it was larger in the affected eye than in the unaffected eye. Parapapillary chorioretinal atrophy is associated with glaucoma.