Detection of progressive retinal nerve fiber layer loss in glaucoma using scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation

Felipe A. Medeiros, Luciana M. Alencar, Linda M. Zangwill, Christopher Bowd, Gianmarco Vizzeri, Pamela A. Sample, Robert N. Weinreb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the ability of scanning laser polarimetry with variable corneal compensation to detect progressive retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) loss in glaucoma patients and patients suspected of having the disease. Methods: This was an observational cohort study that included 335 eyes of 195 patients. Images were obtained annually with the GDx VCC scanning laser polarimeter, along with optic disc stereophotographs and standard automated perimetry (SAP) visual fields. The median follow-up time was 3.94 years. Progression was determined using commercial software for SAP and by masked assessment of optic disc stereophotographs performed by expert graders. Random coefficient models were used to evaluate the relationship between RNFL thickness measurements over time and progression as determined by SAP and/or stereophotographs. Results: From the 335 eyes, 34 (10%) showed progression over time by stereophotographs and/or SAP. Average GDx VCC measurements decreased significantly over time for both progressors as well as non-progressors. However, the rate of decline was significantly higher in the progressing group (-0.70 μm/year) compared to the non-progressing group (-0.14 μm/ year; P = 0.001). Black race and male sex were significantly associated with higher rates of RNFL loss during follow-up. Conclusions: The GDx VCC scanning laser polarimeter was able to identify longitudinal RNFL loss in eyes that showed progression in optic disc stereophotographs and/or visual fields. These findings suggest that this technology could be useful to detect and monitor progressive disease in patients with established diagnosis of glaucoma or suspected of having the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675-1681
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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