Patterns of functional vision loss in glaucoma determined with archetypal analysis

J R Soc Interface. 2015 Feb 6;12(103):20141118. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1118.


Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy accompanied by vision loss which can be mapped by visual field (VF) testing revealing characteristic patterns related to the retinal nerve fibre layer anatomy. While detailed knowledge about these patterns is important to understand the anatomic and genetic aspects of glaucoma, current classification schemes are typically predominantly derived qualitatively. Here, we classify glaucomatous vision loss quantitatively by statistically learning prototypical patterns on the convex hull of the data space. In contrast to component-based approaches, this method emphasizes distinct aspects of the data and provides patterns that are easier to interpret for clinicians. Based on 13 231 reliable Humphrey VFs from a large clinical glaucoma practice, we identify an optimal solution with 17 glaucomatous vision loss prototypes which fit well with previously described qualitative patterns from a large clinical study. We illustrate relations of our patterns to retinal structure by a previously developed mathematical model. In contrast to the qualitative clinical approaches, our results can serve as a framework to quantify the various subtypes of glaucomatous visual field loss.

Keywords: glaucoma; retinal nerve fibre layer; vision loss.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blindness* / classification
  • Blindness* / etiology
  • Blindness* / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma* / classification
  • Glaucoma* / complications
  • Glaucoma* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Retinal Neurons