Identification of early glaucoma cases with the scanning laser ophthalmoscope

Ophthalmology. 1998 Aug;105(8):1557-63. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(98)98047-2.


Purpose: This study aimed to define the confocal laser scanning ophthalmoscope (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph [HRT]) parameters that best separate patients with early glaucoma from normal subjects.

Study design: A cross-sectional study.

Participants: A total of 80 normal subjects and 51 patients with early glaucoma participated (average visual field mean deviation = -3.6 dB).

Intervention: Imaging of the optic nerve head with the HRT and analysis using software version 1.11 were performed.

Main outcome measures: The relation between neuroretinal rim area and optic disc area, and cup-disc area ratio and optic disc area, was defined by linear regression of data derived from the normal subjects. The normal ranges for these two parameters were defined by the 99% prediction intervals of the linear regression between the parameter and optic disc area, for the whole disc, and for each of the predefined segments. Normal subjects and patients were labeled as abnormal if the parameter for either the whole disc or any of the predefined segments was outside the normal range. The sensitivity and specificity values of the method were calculated.

Results: The highest specificity (96.3%) and sensitivity (84.3%) values to separate normal subjects and those patients with early glaucoma were obtained using the 99% prediction interval from the linear regression between the optic disc area and the log of the neuroretinal rim area. Similar specificity (97.5%) and lower sensitivity (74.5%) values were obtained with the 99% prediction interval derived from regression between the disc area and cup-disc area ratios. Poor separation between groups was obtained with the other parameters.

Conclusions: The HRT, using the technique of linear regression to account for the relationship between optic disc size and rim area or cup-disc area ratio, provides good separation between control subjects and patients with early glaucoma in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Lasers*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopes*
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Visual Fields