Correlation of peripapillary nerve fiber layer thickness by scanning laser polarimetry with visual field defects in patients with glaucoma

J Glaucoma. 1998 Oct;7(5):312-6.


Purpose: To assess the correlation between the results of peripapillary scanning laser polarimetry of the retinal nerve fiber layer (NFL) and automated visual field testing in patients with open-angle glaucoma.

Methods: Visual fields from 42 patients with varying stages of glaucoma were scored using Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS) criteria. Mean deviation, pattern standard deviation, and CIGTS total and hemifield visual field scores were correlated with peripapillary NFL thickness measured by scanning laser polarimetry using summed, ratio-based, and modulation parameters.

Results: Mean deviation and CIGTS total and upper hemifield score were significantly correlated with NFL retardation values using summed, ratio-based, or modulation parameters. The CIGTS lower hemifield score was significantly correlated with modulation parameter values only. Correlation of CIGTS scores was significantly stronger with modulation parameters than with summed parameters (total and lower hemifield scores) and ratio-based parameters (lower hemifield only) by the Hotelling t test.

Conclusion: Relative NFL thickness measured by scanning laser polarimetry correlates well with visual field defects seen on Humphrey perimetry of patients with open-angle glaucoma. Modulation parameters, in which the superior and inferior peak NFL thickness (as measured by scanning laser polarimetry) are adjusted for the patient's average minimum NFL thickness in the nasal and temporal quadrants, provided stronger correlation than summed parameters and ratio-based parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve / pathology*
  • Vision Disorders / pathology*
  • Visual Fields*