Can Home Monitoring Allow Earlier Detection of Rapid Visual Field Progression in Glaucoma?

Ophthalmology. 2017 Dec;124(12):1735-1742. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2017.06.028. Epub 2017 Jul 29.


Purpose: Recent developments in electronic technology are making it possible to home monitor the sensitivity of the central visual field using portable devices. We used simulations to investigate whether the higher test frequency afforded by home monitoring improves the early detection of rapid visual field loss in glaucoma and how any benefits might be affected by imperfect compliance or increased variability in the home-monitoring test.

Design: Computer simulation, with parameter selection confirmed with a cohort study.

Participants: A total of 43 patients with treated glaucoma (both open-angle and closed-angle), ocular hypertension or glaucoma suspects (mean age, 71 years; range, 37-89 years), were followed in the cohort study.

Methods: We simulated series (n = 100 000) of visual fields for patients with stable glaucoma and patients with progressing glaucoma for 2 in-clinic (yearly and 6-monthly) and 3 home-monitoring (monthly, fortnightly, and weekly) schedules, each running over a 5-year period. Various percentages of home-monitored fields were omitted at random to simulate reduced compliance, and the variability of the home monitored fields also was manipulated. We used previously published variability characteristics for perimetry and confirmed their appropriateness for a home-monitoring device by measuring the device's retest variability at 2 months in a cohort of 43 patients. The criterion for flagging progression in our simulation was a significant slope of the ordinary least squares regression of a simulated patient's mean deviation (MD) data.

Main outcome measures: The sensitivity for identifying rapid visual field loss (-2 decibels [dB]/year loss of MD).

Results: Although a sensitivity of 0.8 for rapid field loss was achieved after 2.5 years of 6-monthly testing in the clinic, weekly home monitoring achieved this by 0.9 years despite moderate test compliance of 63%. The improved performance of weekly home monitoring over 6-monthly clinical testing was retained even when home monitoring was assumed to produce more variable test results or be associated with low patient compliance.

Conclusions: Detecting rapid visual field progression may be improved using a home-monitoring strategy, even when compliance is imperfect. The cost-benefit of such an approach is yet to be demonstrated, however.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Computer Simulation
  • Disease Progression
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Ocular Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Visual Field Tests / methods
  • Visual Fields*