Identification of visual field progression

  • Natalie Hutchings

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The study developed statistical techniques to evaluate visual field progression for use with the Humphrey Field Analyzer (HFA). The long-term fluctuation (LF) was evaluated in stable glaucoma. The magnitude of both LF components showed little relationship with MD, CPSD and SF. An algorithm was proposed for determining the clinical necessity for a confirmatory follow-up examination. The between-examination variability was determined for the HFA Standard and FASTPAC algorithms in glaucoma. FASTPAC exhibited greater between-examination variability than the Standard algorithm across the range of sensitivities and with increasing eccentricity. The difference in variability between the algorithms had minimal clinical significance. The effect of repositioning the baseline in the Glaucoma Change Probability Analysis (GCPA) was evaluated. The global baseline of the GCPA limited the detection of progressive change at a single stimulus location. A new technique, pointwise univariate linear regressions (ULR), of absolute sensitivity and, of pattern deviation, against time to follow-up was developed. In each case, pointwise ULR was more sensitive to localised progressive changes in sensitivity than ULR of MD, alone. Small changes in sensitivity were more readily determined by the pointwise ULR than by the GCPA. A comparison between the outcome of pointwise ULR for all fields and for the last six fields manifested linear and curvilinear declines in the absolute sensitivity and the pattern deviation. A method for delineating progressive loss in glaucoma, based upon the error in the forecasted sensitivity of a multivariate model, was developed. Multivariate forecasting exhibited little agreement with GCPA in glaucoma but showed promise for monitoring visual field progression in OHT patients. The recovery of sensitivity in optic neuritis over time was modelled with a Cumulative Gaussian function. The rate and level of recovery was greater in the peripheral than the central field. Probability models to forecast the field of recovery were proposed.
Date of Award1996
Original languageEnglish


  • long-term fluctuation
  • variability
  • glaucoma change probability analysis
  • regression
  • optic neuritis

Cite this