Purpose: To compare the optic discs of 62 healthy individuals 68 patients who have ocular hypertension (OH), and 182 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (132 high-tension glaucoma (HTG) and 50 normal-tension glaucoma (NTG)), and determine whether disc size exerted an influence on the group differentiation.
Patients and methods: Standard criteria were used to define glaucoma and normality. Ocular hypertension was defined as having raised intraocular pressure, a normal visual field, and a healthy optic disc/retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL). The optic disc of one eye from each individual was analyzed using a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph software version 1.11, Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany). Thirteen topographical, volumetric, and shape parameters were compared between the three diagnostic groups. In addition, the individuals were divided into subgroups on the basis of disc size to determine any effect of disc size on the differentiating ability of the confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Differences between the groups were evaluated using an analysis of variance.
Results: Glaucomatous optic discs were found to differ from both healthy and OH discs, although no differences in disc area between the groups were identified. On the basis of disc size, differentiating the glaucomatous discs was best for midsized discs of 2 mm2 to 3 mm2. However, no difference was found between healthy and OH discs, even when allowing for disc size.
Conclusions: Ocular hypertensive optic discs (with a clinically normal appearance) could not be distinguished from healthy discs using a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopic technique. Glaucomatous optic discs were found to differ from both healthy and OH discs, with a limited effect of disc size.