Technologies for glaucoma diagnosis and follow up

February 22, 2006

Early detection of glaucoma is critical. According to the AGIS study, by the time a reproducible visual field defect is detected, 20% to 50% of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) can be damaged, said Remo Susanna, Jr., MD, at the World Ophthalmology Congress on Wednesday.

Early detection of glaucoma is critical. According to the AGIS study, by the time a reproducible visual field defect is detected, 20% to 50% of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) can be damaged, said Remo Susanna, Jr., MD, at the World Ophthalmology Congress on Wednesday.

A number of imaging technologies are available to detect structural changes, but they should not replace or overshadow the importance of optic disc photos and intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements as primary diagnostic tools. Dr. Susanna is from the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

"Digital imaging devices have a role in enhancing and facilitating the assessment, as stated by the AIGS consensus in 2003," explained Dr. Susanna. "Methods like HRT, Gdx, or the frequency-doubling test may help to confirm the correctness of the diagnosis, but they should always be correlated to the appearance of the optic nerve to avoid any misleading data."

Dr. Susanna added that more experience and study is needed to validate the clinical use of these technologies.