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Intervals between visual field tests when monitoring the glaucomatous patient: wait-and-see approach

Crabb, D. P. & Garway-Heath, D. F. (2012). Intervals between visual field tests when monitoring the glaucomatous patient: wait-and-see approach. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 53(6), pp. 2770-2776. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-9476


Purpose.: Published recommendations suggest three visual field (VF) tests per year are required to identify rapid progression in a newly diagnosed glaucomatous patient over 2 years. This report aims to determine if identification of progression would be improved by clustering tests at the beginning and end of the 2-year period.

Methods.: Computer-simulated “patients” were given a rapid VF (mean deviation [MD]) loss of −2 dB/year with added MD measurement variability. Linear regression of MD against time was used to estimate progression. One group of “patients” was measured every 6 months, another every 4 months, whereas the wait-and-see group were measured either 2 or 3 times at both baseline and at the end of a 2-year period. Stable “patients” (0 dB/year) were generated to examine the effect of the follow-up patterns on false-positive (FP) progression identification.

Results.: By 2 years, 58% and 82% of rapidly progressing patients were correctly detected using evenly spaced 6- and 4-month VFs, respectively. This power of detection significantly improved to 62% and 95% with the wait-and-see approach (P < 0.001). When compared with evenly spaced VFs, the rate of MD loss was better estimated by the wait-and-see approach, but average detection time was slightly slower. Evenly spaced testing incurred a significantly higher FP rate: up to 5.9% compared with only 0.4% in wait-and-see (P < 0.001).

Conclusions.: Compared with an evenly spaced follow-up, wait-and-see identifies more “patients” with rapid VF progression with fewer FPs, making it particularly applicable to clinical trials. Modeling experiments, as reported here, are useful for investigating and optimizing follow-up schemes.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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