• Written By: Scott K. Schultz, MD

    This prospective study found that surgical IOP reduction leads to a short-term enhancement of central and peripheral visual field sensitivity in eyes with moderately advanced glaucomatous optic neuropathy.

    These results imply that there is a subset of retinal ganglion cells that can be saved by lowering IOP after surgical intervention and improvement in mean ocular perfusion pressure.

    Subjects included 30 glaucoma patients with uncontrolled IOP and 28 medically-treated glaucoma patients with stable IOP.

    At the three-month examination, IOP had decreased in surgically-treated eyes but not in the medically-treated group. Also, the number of central and peripheral visual field test locations showing improvement was significantly greater in the surgical eyes. The surgical group also had a significantly higher number of eyes with improved pattern standard deviation.

    The researchers conclude that more longitudinal studies are warranted to further characterize the relationship between IOP reduction and improvement in visual field and the longevity of such effects. Also, localized changes in visual sensitivity could be a potential biomarker for function and response to therapeutic interventions in glaucoma, and this requires further study.