Purpose: To present a new perimetric index for calculating the rate of glaucomatous progression and to compare its performance with the traditional mean deviation index (MDI).
Design: Experimental study describing a device and retrospective cohort study.
Methods: We developed a new visual field index, the glaucoma progression index (GPI), intended to be less affected by cataract than the MDI by calculating age-corrected defect depth at test points identified as significantly depressed in pattern deviation probability maps. The valid operating range for pattern deviation analysis was estimated. When exceeding this range, the total deviation probability maps were used for identification of significantly depressed points. The GPI is expressed in percentage, where 100% represents a normal visual field and 0% represents a perimetrically blind field, and is plotted vs patient age. Rate of progression, presented as yearly change in the GPI, is calculated by linear regression analysis. We conducted a pilot evaluation in three groups of patients: 1) eyes with developing cataract, 2) eyes without cataract, and 3) eyes in which cataract surgery was performed in the middle of the series.
Results: The cut-off for pattern deviation was, at mean deviation, worse than -20 decibels (dB) in fields in which the eighty-fifth percentile of the total deviation value was significantly depressed. In the first group (n = 45), the measured rate of progression was greater with the MDI than with the GPI (P < .0001). The mean loss per year was 3.6%/year for the MDI and 2.1%/year for the GPI. In the second group (n = 42), the rate of progression did not differ between the MDI and the GPI (P = .52); the means were 2.7%/year and 2.6%/year, respectively. In the third group (n = 44), the confidence limits for the rate of progression were significantly smaller with the GPI than with the MDI (P = .04).
Conclusions: Glaucoma progression rates calculated using the GPI seem to be considerably less affected by cataract and cataract surgery than rates based on the traditional MDI.