Purpose: To determine whether the frequency doubling perimeter (FDP) can grade glaucomatous visual function loss in a clinically relevant manner. Sinusoidal gratings < 1 cpd that undergo counterphase flicker > 15 Hz appear to have twice as many bands of light, a phenomenon referred to as the "frequency doubling illusion." Evidence suggests that this psychophysical effect is mediated in part by large-diameter ganglion cells, which are reported to be lost early in the glaucomatous disease process. A portable, commercially available FDP has already demonstrated high diagnostic potential for glaucoma screening.
Methods: Sixty-four eyes of 42 glaucomatous patients and 22 eyes of 14 normal subjects were evaluated by means of both frequency doubling perimetry and Humphrey perimetry. A clinical scoring algorithm modeled after the Hodapp-Parrish-Anderson criteria for scoring Humphrey visual field defects was derived for the FDP at the halfway point of the study, and all participants were reassessed with this algorithm upon its completion.
Results: FDP mean and pattern deviation showed strong linear correlations with Humphrey 30-2 mean deviation (R = 0.75; P < .0001) and corrected pattern standard deviation values (R = 0.64; P < .0001). Despite this, neither global index could consistently categorize the graded glaucomatous visual fields in a manner consistent with the Hodapp-Parrish-Anderson criteria. The new FDP scoring algorithm did provide good segregation (73% precise parity, 93% parity within one Humphrey grade).
Conclusions: Sixteen-zone frequency doubling perimetry can segregate glaucomatous visual field loss into pathologic categories approximating those obtained with Humphrey 30-2 perimetry by means of a formula modeled after the Hodapp-Parrish-Anderson criteria.