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The role of scanning laser polarimetry using the GDx variable corneal compensator in the management of glaucoma suspects
  1. A Shaikh,
  2. J F Salmon
  1. Oxford Eye Hospital, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS, Oxford,UK
  1. Correspondence to: J F Salmon Oxford Eye Hospital, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HE, UK; john.salmon{at}


Aim: To determine the role of scanning laser polarimetry using the GDx variable corneal compensator (VCC) in the management of glaucoma suspects.

Methods: Over a 12-month period, 43 of 447 (9.6%) patients referred to a glaucoma screening clinic were classified as “glaucoma suspects” when it was not possible to categorise the optic disc appearance and visual fields as definitely glaucomatous or definitely normal. Of these patients, 39 underwent a full ophthalmic review, including assessment of the visual fields and analysis of the retinal nerve fibre layer with the GDx VCC.

Results: After the review, 17 of 39 (43.6%) patients were discharged because of normal GDx VCC results. The remaining 22 of 39 (56.4%) were considered to be at risk of developing progressive glaucoma, and further follow-up in the hospital eye service was recommended. 3 (7.7%) patients received treatment. Of the 22 patients, 12 were considered to have pre-perimetric normal tension glaucoma, 7 normal tension glaucoma and 1 primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). In 19 of these patients, abnormal GDx VCC results were found, particularly inter-eye asymmetry in the nerve fibre layer thickness. However, in 2 of 39 (5.1%) patients the GDx VCC was normal, despite the presence of a neuroretinal rim defect in the optic disc with corresponding visual field loss, and in 1 patient with POAG.

Conclusions: Scanning laser polarimetry using the GDx VCC is an important tool in defining the management strategies of glaucoma suspects. In screening for glaucoma, however, GDx VCC results should not be used in isolation, but in conjunction with conventional methods of optic disc and visual field assessment.

  • FDT, frequency doubling technology
  • IES, inter-eye symmetry
  • IOP, intraocular pressure
  • NFI, nerve fibre index
  • NTG, normal tension glaucoma
  • POAG,
  • primary open-angle glaucoma,
  • RNFL, retinal nerve fibre layer
  • SAP, standard automated perimetry
  • SLP, scanning laser polarimetry
  • vcc, variable corneal compensator

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  • Competing interests: None declared.