First glaucoma risk calculator set to debut

September 19, 2005

San Francisco - A newly developed risk calculator will make therapeutic decision-making for patients with ocular hypertension a little more straightforward, said Robert N. Weinreb, MD, director, Hamilton Glaucoma Center, and distinguished professor of ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego.

San Francisco - A newly developed risk calculator will make therapeutic decision-making for patients with ocular hypertension a little more straightforward, said Robert N. Weinreb, MD, director, Hamilton Glaucoma Center, and distinguished professor of ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Weinreb chaired a panel of experts who developed the risk calculator based on data collected in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study. It will be described in an upcoming article in the Oct. 8, 2005 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology and discussed at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago, Oct. 15 to 18.

Using a slide rule-type device, clinicians will be able to input individual patient risk factor data to calculate the risk of converting from ocular hypertension to glaucoma over the next 5 years. By consensus the panel decided that monitoring would be appropriate for patients with a calculated progression risk of <5%, consideration of treatment with a patient-provider discussion of the risks and benefits was recommended for individuals determined to have a 5% to 15% risk of progressing to glaucoma, while treatment is recommended for those with higher levels of risk.

Nevertheless, the risk calculator for estimating global risk should be used an adjunct to and not as a substitute for clinical experience and judgment, and each physician is likely to have his or her own threshold for treatment.

“Other factors such as the patient’s overall health status, life expectancy, and commitment to treatment should also be weighed against potential adverse events and cost of treatment,” Dr. Weinreb said.