Variability of the perimetric response in normals and in glaucoma
This study investigated the variability of response associated with various perimetric techniques, with the aim of improving the clinical interpretation of automated static threshold perirnetry. Evaluation of a third generation of perimetric threshold algorithms (SITA) demonstrated a reduction in test duration by approximately 50% both in normal subjects and in glaucoma patients. SITA produced a slightly higher, but clinically insignificant, Mean Sensitivity than with the previous generations of algorithms. This was associated with a decreased between-subject variability in sensitivity and hence, lower confidence intervals for normality. In glaucoma, the SITA algorithms gave rise to more statistically significant visual field defects and a similar between-visit repeatability to the Full Threshold and FASTPAC algorithms. The higher estimated sensitivity observed with SITA compared to Full Threshold and FASTPAC were not attributed to a reduction in the fatigue effect. The investigation of a novel method of maintaining patient fixation, a roving fixation target which paused immediately prior lo the stimulus presentation, revealed a greater degree of fixational instability with the roving fixation target compared to the conventional static fixation target. Previous experience with traditional white-white perimetry did not eradicate the learning effect in short-wavelength automated perimetry (SWAP) in a group of ocular hypertensive patients. The learning effect was smaller in an experienced group of patients compared to a naive group of patients, but was still at a significant level to require that patients should undertake a series of at least three familiarisation tests with SWAP.