Screening performance of functional and structural measurements of neural damage in open-angle glaucoma: A case-control study from the Baltimore eye survey

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Glaucoma








Baltimore eye survey; Glaucoma; Nerve fiber layer; Screening; Visual field


Purpose: To compare the sensitivity and specificity of four approaches to glaucoma screening. Methods: Case patients were persons with possible, probable, or definite glaucomatous optic nerve damage, as judged by a glaucoma specialist using Humphrey 24-2 threshold findings and clinical assessment of disc and nerve fiber layer, identified in the population-based Baltimore Eye Survey Follow-up Study. Control patients were participants in the same study, frequency-matched for age, without evidence of glaucomatous optic nerve damage. Participants underwent optic disc photography (Topcon ImageNet), disc imaging (GlaucomaScope), scanning laser polarimetry (Nerve Fiber Analyzer), and suprathreshold field testing (Dicon). Results: A total of 100 case patients with open-angle glaucoma and 149 control patients were included. Objective imaging had the best screening performance. For the GlaucomaScope, a criterion of cup-to-disc ratio of ≥0.68 had a sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 82% for detecting eyes with definite or probable glaucomatous optic nerve damage. For the nerve fiber layer, a criterion of The Number as ≥20 had a sensitivity of 69% and specificity of 77% for detecting eyes with definite or probable glaucomatous optic nerve damage. Usable data could be obtained in 93% of participants with the Dicon and the Nerve Fiber Analyzer and in 82% and 87% of participants with the GlaucomaScope and Topcon instruments, respectively. Conclusions: Vertical cup-to-disc ratio, as measured by the GlaucomaScope or Topcon instruments, and the Nerve Fiber Layer neural network Number had the best combination of sensitivity and specificity among the instruments tested. The Nerve Fiber Analyzer had the highest percentage of participants with usable data.