Purpose: To elucidate the relationship between macular retinal thickness and corresponding superior or inferior visual hemifield defects in glaucoma patients.
Methods: Thirty-nine eyes of 39 patients with open-angle glaucoma showed superior or inferior hemifield defects (superior hemifield defects, 27 eyes; inferior hemifield defects, 12 eyes). We measured the retinal thickness of the parafovea and fovea centralis corresponding to a defect or an apparently normal hemifield by spectral domain optical coherence tomography. We then analyzed the relationship between the retinal thickness corresponding to an apparently normal hemifield and the severity of the glaucomatous visual field defect on the other side of the same eye.
Results: We found that the retinal thickness of the parafovea and fovea centralis significantly decreased, as the hemifield defect increased. The retinal thickness of the parafovea, the inner sector, outer sector, and inner and outer sectors, corresponding to the apparently normal hemifields significantly decreased with the progression of the hemifield defect on the other side. The mean±SD age of patients was 66.5±9.1 years and the refraction was −1.3±2.4 D.
Conclusions: Macular retinal thickness decreases with a corresponding visual hemifield defect in glaucoma patients. Retinal structural changes precede the loss of the visual field in the apparently normal side.