Purpose: To assess the spatial distribution of glaucomatous visual field defects (VFDs) obtained with regionally condensed stimulus arrangements.
Methods: Sixty-three eyes of 63 glaucoma subjects were examined with threshold-estimating automated static perimetry (full threshold 4-2-1 dB strategy with at least three reversals) on an automatic campimeter or a full-field perimeter. Stimuli were added by the examiner to regionally enhance spatial resolution in regions that were suspicious for a glaucomatous VFD. These regions were characterized by contiguous local VFDs, attributable to the retinal nerve fiber bundle course according to the impression of the examiner. The added stimulus locations were subsets of a predefined, dense perimetric grid. All VFD locations with P < 0.05 (total deviation plots) were assessed by superimposing the visual field records of all participants.
Results: Glaucomatous VFD loss occurred more frequently in the upper than in the lower hemifield, with a typical retinal nerve fiber-related pattern and a preference of the nasal step region. More than 50% of the eyes with predominantly mild to moderate glaucomatous field loss showed defective locations in the immediate superior paracentral region within an eccentricity of 3°.
Conclusions: Conventional thresholding white-on-white perimetry with regionally enhanced spatial resolution reveals that glaucomatous visual field loss affects the immediate paracentral area, especially the upper hemifield, in many eyes with only mild to moderate glaucomatous visual field loss. Detailed knowledge about the spatial pattern and the local frequency distribution of glaucomatous VFDs is an essential prerequisite for creating regionally condensed stimulus arrangements for adequate detection and follow-up of functional glaucomatous damage.