PURPOSE Deep glaucomatous defects near fixation were followed over time with an adaptive optics-scanning light ophthalmoscope (AO-SLO) to better understand the progression of these defects and to explore the use of AO-SLO in detecting them.
METHODS Six eyes of 5 patients were imaged with an AO-SLO from 2 to 4 times for a range of 14.6 to 33.6 months. All eyes had open-angle glaucoma with deep defects in the superior visual field (VF) near fixation as defined by 10-2 VFs with 5 or more points less than -15 dB; two of the eyes had deep defects in the inferior VF as well. AO-SLO images were obtained around the temporal edge of the disc.
RESULTS In 4 of the 6 eyes, the edge of the inferior-temporal disc region of the retinal nerve fiber (RNF) defect seen on AO-SLO moved closer to fixation within 10.6 to 14.7 months. In 4 eyes, RNF bundles in the affected region appeared to lose contrast and/or disappear.
CONCLUSIONS Progressive changes in RNF bundles associated with deep defects on 10-2 VFs can be seen within about 1 year with AO-SLO imaging. These changes are well below the spatial resolution of the 10-2 VF. On the other hand, subtle thinning of regions with RNF bundles is not easy to see with current AO-SLO technology, and may be better followed with OCT.
TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE AO-SLO imaging may be useful in clinical trials designed to see very small changes in deep defects.