The authors performed a study of intraocular pressure-dependent changes in optic disc cupping in 17 adults with chronic open-angle glaucoma. Analyses with the Rodenstock Optic Nerve Head Analyzer were performed at baseline low intraocular pressure during therapy, after elevation of intraocular pressure (from therapeutic failure or noncompliance), and after reduction of intraocular pressure with successful therapy. Optic disc cupping increased significantly upon short-term increase of intraocular pressure from baseline of 20.4 +/- 2.5 mmHg to 31.1 +/- 5.9 mmHg. Optic disc cupping reverted to baseline after persistent intraocular pressure reduction to 19.3 +/- 4.8 mmHg. These data demonstrate intraocular pressure-dependent dynamic changes of optic disc cupping in patients with demonstrable glaucomatous optic nerve damage. They underscore the detrimental effect of elevated intraocular pressure and the beneficial effect of intraocular pressure reduction on optic disc cup changes.