Purpose: To investigate the correlation between peripapillary atrophy and visual field defects as well as optic nerve head configurations in patients with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG).
Methods: Topographic measurements for peripapillary atrophy and optic nerve head using confocal scanning laser tomography and automated static threshold perimetry were performed on 102 eyes of 51 patients with NTG. Peripapillary atrophy was divided into (1) a central zone (zone Beta) with visible, large choroidal vessels and sclera, and (2) a peripheral zone (zone Alpha) with irregular hyper- and hypopigmentation. The area, angular extent around the disc, and radial extent of each zone were measured.
Results: The area and extent of zone Beta increased significantly with increasing visual field defects expressed in terms of mean deviation, corrected pattern standard deviation, central visual field defects within 5 degrees of fixation, and superior hemifield defects (r = 0.3770-0.5291, P < 0.01). The angular extent of zone Beta represented localized field defects better (r = 0.5217, P < 0.001) than diffuse field defects (r = -0.3770, P < 0.01). Zone Beta significantly correlated with optic nerve head topography. Intraindividual right-left-side differences of corrected pattern standard deviation showed the highest correlation with the side differences of zone Beta area (r = 0.6305, P < 0.001). The location of visual field defects correlated significantly with the location of peripapillary atrophy (chi-square = 9.0484, P = 0.011). Zone Alpha was not significantly correlated with visual field defects or optic nerve head configurations (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Peripapillary atrophy is significantly associated with functional and structural optic nerve damage in NTG.