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Use of sequential Heidelberg retina tomograph images to identify changes at the optic disc in ocular hypertensive patients at risk of developing glaucoma
  1. D S Kamala,
  2. D F Garway-Heatha,
  3. R A Hitchingsa,
  4. F W Fitzkeb
  1. aGlaucoma Unit, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD, bInstitute of Ophthalmology, London
  1. Professor R A Hitchings roger.hitchings{at}


AIM To determine if global and segmental changes in optic disc parameters of sequential Heidelberg retina tomograph (HRT) images develop in individual ocular hypertensive (OHT) patients without white on white visual field defects.

METHODS Patients and normal controls were recruited from a prospective ocular hypertension treatment trial. The subject groups consisted of 21 OHT patients who had converted to early glaucoma on the basis of visual field criteria (24-2 program on the Humphrey perimeter), 164 OHT subjects with normal visual fields, and 21 normal controls. Sequential HRT images 16–21 months apart were obtained for each subject and segmental optic disc parameters were measured to determine if any change had occurred. From the analysis of sequential HRT images of the 21 normal eyes we established normal limits of interimage variation. Individual discs in each group showing changes above the 95% limit of normal variability were then sought.

RESULTS Several segmental and global optic disc parameters were found to show significant change in the converter group before confirmed visual field change, confirming our previously published results. Individual optic disc analysis using the 95% limit of normal variability data demonstrated glaucomatous change in 13 out of 21 converter eyes. 47 of the 164 OHT eyes with normal visual fields showed change in global and segmental parameters in a “glaucomatous” direction above the level expected for normal variability. The parameters which changed most frequently in the OHT eyes were: global cup volume (6.7% of discs), inferonasal cup volume (11%), inferotemporal cup volume (8.5%), and superotemporal cup area (7.3%).

CONCLUSIONS We have identified change in a subset of ocular hypertensive patients which could predate the development of glaucomatous visual field loss. The HRT could be of value in the sequential follow up of those suspected of having glaucoma by identifying eyes at risk of developing glaucoma. However, further refinement of the technique is required to eliminate some of the inherent variability of the analysis method described, and to increase the ability to detect at risk individuals.

  • Heidelberg retina tomograph
  • ocular hypertension
  • glaucoma
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  • None of the authors has any proprietary interest in the Heidelberg retina tomograph.

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