Comparative study of retinal nerve fiber layer measurement by StratusOCT and GDx VCC, II: structure/function regression analysis in glaucoma

Christopher Kai-shun Leung, Kelvin Kam-Long Chong, Wai-man Chan, Cedric Ka-Fai Yiu, Man-yee Tso, Jackson Woo, Moon-Kwong Tsang, Kwok-kay Tse, Wing-ho Yung
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2005, 46 (10): 3702-11

PURPOSE: To evaluate the structure/function relationship between visual field sensitivity and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measured by StratusOCT (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, CA) and GDx VCC (Laser Diagnostic Technologies, Inc., San Diego, CA).

METHODS: Eighty-nine subjects (27 who had healthy eyes, 21 who were glaucoma suspect, 41 who had glaucoma) were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. RNFL thickness was measured using the StratusOCT and the GDx VCC, and visual field (VF) was examined using the Humphrey VF analyzer. The relationship between RNFL thickness and VF sensitivity-expressed in terms of mean deviation (MD) in decibel (dB) scale, unlogged 1/lambert (L), and Advanced Glaucoma Intervention Study (AGIS) and Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS) VF scores-were evaluated with linear and nonlinear regression models. Coefficient of determination (R(2)) was calculated, and regression models were compared using the Akaike information criterion and the F test.

RESULTS: In plotting MD against RNFL thickness, curvilinear regression models demonstrated the best fit, whereas linear regression attained the best associations when VF sensitivity was expressed in 1/L. However, when healthy subjects were excluded from the analyses, the second-order polynomial was better than linear regression in describing the relation between 1/L and GDx VCC-measured RNFL thickness. Regression profiles between AGIS/CIGTS VF scores and RNFL thickness were best described in the linear and the first-order inverse models for GDx VCC and StratusOCT RNFL measurements, respectively. In general, StratusOCT RNFL measurements achieved higher associations with visual function in all the respective regression analyses than did GDx VCC.

CONCLUSIONS: Description of structure/function relationships in glaucoma depends on the choice of perimetry scale, the type of RNFL measuring device, and the characteristics of the studied groups. The higher association with visual function in StratusOCT RNFL measurements compared with that in GDx VCC suggested optical coherence tomography might be a better approach for evaluating structure/function relationships. Curvilinear regression profiles found between StratusOCT RNFL thickness and MD/VF scores provide an explanation for those longitudinal observations, showing that VFs with higher AGIS/CIGTS VF scores or worse MD at baseline are at higher risk for deterioration. Regression analysis of the structure/function profile could provide important information in the assessment of the trend and pattern of glaucoma progression.

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