Assessment of visual function in glaucoma: A report by the American academy of ophthalmology

Henry D. Jampel, Kuldev Singh, Shan C. Lin, Teresa C. Chen, Brian A. Francis, Elizabeth Hodapp, John R. Samples, Scott D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the published literature to summarize and evaluate the effectiveness of visual function tests in diagnosing glaucoma and in monitoring progression. Methods: Literature searches of the PubMed and Cochrane Library databases were conducted last on May 7, 2010, and were restricted to citations published on or after January 1, 1994. The search yielded 1063 unique citations. The first author reviewed the titles and abstracts of these articles and selected 185 of possible clinical relevance for further review. The panel members reviewed the full text of these articles and determined that 85 met inclusion criteria. They conducted data abstraction of the 85 studies, and the panel methodologist assigned a level of evidence to each of the selected articles. One study was rated as level I evidence. The remaining articles were classified broadly as providing level II evidence. Studies deemed to provide level III evidence were not included in the assessment. Results: Standard white-on-white automated perimetry remains the most commonly performed test for assessing the visual field, with the Swedish interactive threshold algorithm (SITA) largely replacing full-threshold testing strategies. Frequency-doubling technology and its refinement into Matrix perimetry, as well as short-wavelength automated perimetry, now available with SITA, have been evaluated extensively. Machine learning classifiers seem to be ready for incorporation into software to help distinguish glaucomatous from nonglaucomatous fields. Other technologies, such as multifocal visual-evoked potential and electroretinography, which were designed as objective measures of visual function, provide testing free of patient input, but issues prevent their adoption for glaucoma management. Conclusions: Advances in technology and analytic tools over the past decade have provided us with more rapid and varied ways of assessing visual function in glaucoma, but they have yet to produce definitive guidance on the diagnosis of glaucoma or its progression over time. Further research on an objective measure of visual function is needed. Financial Disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-1002
Number of pages17
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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