Chromatic and luminance systems deficits in glaucoma

Vision Res. 1996 Feb;36(4):621-9. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(95)00158-1.


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of glaucoma, at different stages of the disease process, on the two color-opponent system and on the luminance system. Discrimination thresholds were measured along the two equiluminant cardinal color axes (RG and YV) and along an achromatic luminance axis (LD) in 27 patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and in 13 glaucoma suspects. Patients with OAG showed increased thresholds along all three axes. The threshold increases correlated significantly with the level of visual field loss. For glaucoma suspects, thresholds were also increased along all three axes. A subgroup of patients with OAG, those with pigmentary glaucoma, showed minimal increases in threshold along the RG axis. To further investigate this finding an additional 15 patients, seven with primary OAG and eight with pigmentary glaucoma were run in a two-alternative forced-choice experiment. For patients with pigmentary glaucoma, thresholds were increased less along the RG axis. The results of the study for OAG patients and glaucoma suspects are consistent with deficits in the two color-opponent systems, and in the luminance system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Differential Threshold / physiology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Visual Fields