To elucidate the temporal relationship between detection of glaucomatous optic disc progression, as assessed by fundus photography, and visual field progression.
Prospective, randomized, longitudinal trial.
Three hundred six study eyes with manifest glaucoma with field loss and 192 fellow eyes without any field defect at the start of the trial, from a total of 249 subjects included in the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial (EMGT), were assessed.
Evaluation of visual field progression and optic disc progression during an 8-year follow-up period. Three graders independently assessed optic disc progression in optic disc photographs. Visual field progression was assessed using glaucoma change probability maps and the EMGT progression criterion.
Main Outcome Measures
Time to detection of visual field progression and optic disc progression.
Among study eyes with manifest glaucoma, progression was detected in the visual field first in 163 eyes (52%) and in the optic disc first in 39 eyes (12%); in 1 eye (0%), it was found simultaneously with both methods. Among fellow eyes with normal fields, progression was detected in the visual field first in 28 eyes (15%) and in the optic disc first in 34 eyes (18%); in 1 eye (1%), it occurred simultaneously.
In eyes with manifest glaucoma, progression in the visual field was detected first more than 4 times as often as progression in the optic disc. Among fellow eyes without visual field loss at baseline, progression was detected first as frequently in the optic disc as in the visual field.