Progression detection in glaucoma can be made more efficient by using a variable interval between successive visual field tests

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2007 Nov;245(11):1647-51. doi: 10.1007/s00417-007-0576-7. Epub 2007 Apr 17.


Background: This study aimed to gain insight into the optimal spacing in time for visual field tests for progression detection in glaucoma.

Methods: Three perimetric strategies for progression detection were compared by means of simulation experiments in a theoretical cohort. In strategies 1 and 2, visual field testing was performed with fixed-spaced inter-test intervals, using intervals of 3 and 6 months respectively. In strategy 3, the inter-test interval was kept at 1 year as long as the fields appeared unchanged. Then, as soon as progression was suspected, confirmation or falsification were performed promptly. Follow-up fields were compared against a baseline assuming linear deterioration, using various progression criteria. Outcome measures were: (1) specificity, (2) time delay until the diagnosis of definite progression, and (3) number of required tests.

Results: Strategies 2 and 3 had a higher specificity than strategy 1. Strategies 1 and 3 detected progression earlier than strategy 2. The number of required visual field tests was lowest for strategy 3.

Conclusion: Perimetry in glaucoma can be optimised by postponing the next test under apparently stable field conditions and bringing the next test forward once progression is suspected.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Field Tests / methods*
  • Visual Fields*