Background: Humphrey Statpac2 "glaucoma change probability analysis' is a widely available analysis technique to aid the clinician in the diagnosis of glaucomatous visual field deterioration. A comparison of this technique with the more recently described pointwise linear regression analysis (PROGRESSOR) is given.
Methods: Series of visual field data from a group of nine eyes of nine patients with normal-tension glaucoma were selected. Each series had 16 fields with mean follow-up of 5.7 years (SD 0.6 years). Statpac2 "glaucoma change probability analysis' was used to define test locations that had unequivocally deteriorated in the last three fields of each series. The accuracy of both Statpac2 and PROGRESSOR in providing early detection of these deteriorated locations was assessed.
Results: The sensitivity and specificity of the two techniques in predicting deteriorated locations were similar when a rate of luminance sensitivity loss of faster than 1 dB/year (2 dB/year for outer locations beyond 15 deg of eccentricity) with a slope significance of P < 0.10 was used as the regression definition of deterioration. The difficulties of comparing two techniques in the early diagnosis of field progression without a true external standard for field loss are illustrated.
Conclusions: PROGRESSOR closely emulates the performance of Statpac2 in detecting sensitivity deterioration at individual test locations. This new technique, which uses all available data in a field series and gives the rate of sensitivity loss at each location, may provide a clinically useful method for detecting field progression in glaucoma.