Global Perspectives on Glaucoma symposium introduces risk calculator

October 17, 2005

An international panel of glaucoma experts described the latest advances in glaucoma assessment and treatment, including the development of a risk calculator for assessing individualized risk of glaucoma in patients with ocular hypertension, during an evening CME symposium at the Field Museum.

Chicago-An international panel of glaucoma experts described the latest advances in glaucoma assessment and treatment, including the development of a risk calculator for assessing individualized risk of glaucoma in patients with ocular hypertension, during an evening CME symposium at the Field Museum.

With approximately 10 million people in the United States with ocular hypertension, only some will develop glaucoma, and of those who develop the disease, some will develop functional impairment and some will go on to blindness. Therefore, it is important for clinicians to be familiar with the latest advances in detection, including this new tool for assessing risk, explained Robert N. Weinreb, MD, director of the Hamilton Glaucoma Center, and distinguished professor of ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Weinreb and Felipe A. Medeiros, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Hamilton Glaucoma Center, University of California, San Diego, and their colleagues developed the first validated, predictive model to estimate the risk of a patient with ocular hypertension will convert from ocular hypertension to glaucoma.

STAR (Scoring Tool for Assessing Risk) uses six risk factors to calculate the risk of glaucoma development in 5 years for an individual patient. The six risk factors are age, baseline IOP, central corneal thickness, pattern standard deviation (PSD), vertical cup/disc (C/D) ratio, and the presence or absence of diabetes mellitus, explained Dr. Medeiros.

“This is a new tool for glaucoma management,” said Dr. Weinreb. “We have developed the first validated risk calculator for glaucoma. And it is a tool that I think all of you will find useful as an adjunct for your clinical practice.”

Dr. Medeiros described the risk calculator in detail as well as specific cases in which it was used to predict the probability of developing glaucoma. The results were published in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Kuldev Singh, MD, MPH, professor of ophthalmology and director of the Glaucoma Service, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, covered new concepts/consideration for IOP management. Ivan Goldberg, MD, BS, FRANZCO, FRACS, clinical associate of professor, University of Sydney, Australia, spoke about the initiation of medical therapy. Norbert Pfeiffer, MD, professor, department of ophthalmology, Mainz-University Eye Hospital, Mainz, Germany, spoke about the advantages of fixed combination topical medical therapies, which can enhance patient compliance.

The program was jointly sponsored by Ophthalmology Times and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and supported by a grant from Pfizer Ophthalmics.