Assessment of rates of structural change in glaucoma using imaging technologies

Eye (Lond). 2011 Mar;25(3):269-77. doi: 10.1038/eye.2010.202. Epub 2011 Jan 7.


Purpose: To review the ability of current imaging technologies to provide estimates of rates of structural change in glaucoma patients.

Patients and methods: Review of literature.

Results: Imaging technologies, such as confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (CSLO), scanning laser polarimetry (SLP), and optical coherence tomography (OCT), provide quantifiable and reproducible measurements of the optic disc and parapapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL). Rates of change as quantified by the rim area (RA) (for CSLO) and RNFL thickness (for SLP and OCT) are related to glaucoma progression as detected by conventional methods (eg, visual fields and optic disc photography). Evidence shows that rates of RNFL and RA loss are significantly faster in progressing compared with non-progressing glaucoma patients.

Conclusion: Measurements of rates of optic disc and RNFL change are becoming increasingly precise and individualized. Currently available imaging technologies have the ability to detect and quantify progression in glaucoma, and their measurements may be suitable end points in glaucoma clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological*
  • Disease Progression
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmoscopy / methods
  • Scanning Laser Polarimetry
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods