Purpose of review
A process is ongoing to produce a definition
of glaucomatous optic neuropathy (GON) using quantitative, objective data from structural and functional tests. At present, a common practice is to define GON by subjective features said to be ‘characteristic’ as judged by those experienced in glaucoma
An objective definition
would standardize the comparison of clinical research
results across studies, without precluding simultaneous use of idiosyncratic definitions in the same reports. To achieve this goal, expert opinion was solicited to reach optimal agreement on one or more consensus, GON definitions. An interactive period of online discussion by 176 international experts led to 110 responses in an online survey that narrowed possible definitional structures into testable criteria.
Two approaches to validation of one or more sets of criteria for definite and possible GON are ongoing. The general principles include definition
for each eye individually, inclusion of a borderline category, no intraocular pressure criterion, and both structural and functional defects in appropriate physical locations. Each validation approach uses clinician diagnosis as a standard against which objective criteria are compared, with the initial approach using a three-level categorical scale, and the second approach using 0--100 scaling.