Among all glaucoma suspects, eyes with optic nerve head features suspicious or suggestive of early glaucoma are probably those that offer the greatest challenge for clinicians. In contrast with the robust longitudinal data published on ocular hypertension, there is no specific management guideline for these patients. Therefore, evaluating eyes with suspicious optic disc appearance and normal intraocular pressure (IOP), we sought to investigate potential differences in clinical and epidemiological characteristics to differentiate those with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG) from those with presumed large physiological optic disc cups (pLPC). In this observational case-control study, we consecutively enrolled individuals with pLPC and NTG. All eyes had vertical cup-to-disc ratio (VCDR)≥0.6 and untreated IOP<21 mmHg. Glaucomatous eyes had reproducible visual field defects. Eyes with pLPC required normal visual fields and ≥30 months of follow-up with no evidence of glaucomatous neuropathy. Clinical and epidemiological parameters were compared between groups. Eighty-four individuals with pLPC and 40 NTG patients were included. Regarding our main results, NTG patients were significantly older and with a higher prevalence of Japanese descendants (p<0.01). Not only did pLPC eyes have smaller mean VCDR, but also larger optic discs (p≤0.04). There were no significant differences for gender, central corneal thickness, and spherical equivalent (p≥0.38). Significant odds ratios (OR) were found for race (OR = 2.42; for Japanese ancestry), age (OR = 1.05), VCDR (OR = 5.03), and disc size (OR = 0.04; p≤0.04). In conclusion, in patients with suspicious optic disc and normal IOP, those with older age, Japanese ancestry, smaller optic discs, and larger VCDR are more likely to have NTG, and therefore, deserve deeper investigation and closer monitoring.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)