Study Identifies Factors Associated With Rate of Visual Field Change in Patients With Glaucoma, Dalhousie University Study

Published: Aug 10, 2010

E Science News -- Patients with glaucoma appear to have more rapid visual field change if they are older or if they have abnormal levels of anticardiolipin antibody (an antibody directed against a certain protein in the body), according to a report posted online today that will appear in the October print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Reducing intraocular pressure—the pressure within the eyeball—modestly in these patients appears to ameliorate the rate at which they experience declines in visual field. "Recent clinical studies and trials in glaucoma have advanced knowledge on risk factors for the disease. A recurring finding from these investigations is the importance of intraocular pressure for both the development of the disease in glaucoma suspects and progression in patients with established glaucoma," the authors write as background information in the article. "Evidence pertaining to risk factors and the effect of intraocular pressure reduction is derived almost exclusively from event-based or binary (progression vs. no progression) outcomes. In practical terms, it may be more beneficial to determine the effect of a risk factor or its modification on the rate of change such that the clinician can gauge the likelihood of lifetime visual disability with consideration of factors such as age, stage of the disease and life expectancy."

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