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Several analysis protocols have been tested to identify early visual field losses in glaucoma patients using the mfVEP technique, some were successful in detection of field defects, which were comparable to the standard SAP visual field assessment, and others were not very informative and needed more adjustment and research work. In this study we implemented a novel analysis approach and evaluated its validity and whether it could be used effectively for early detection of visual field defects in glaucoma. The purpose of this study is to examine the benefit of adding mfVEP hemifield Intersector analysis protocol to the standard HFA test when there is suspicious glaucomatous visual field loss. 3 groups were tested in this study; normal controls (38 eyes), glaucoma patients (36 eyes) and glaucoma suspect patients (38 eyes). All subjects had a two standard Humphrey visual field HFA test 24-2, optical coherence tomography of the optic nerve head, and a single mfVEP test undertaken in one session. Analysis of the mfVEP results was done using the new analysis protocol; the Hemifield Sector Analysis HSA protocol. The retinal nerve fibre (RNFL) thickness was recorded to identify subjects with suspicious RNFL loss. The hemifield Intersector analysis of mfVEP results showed that signal to noise ratio (SNR) difference between superior and inferior hemifields was statistically significant between the 3 groups (ANOVA p<0.001 with a 95% CI). The difference between superior and inferior hemispheres in all subjects were all statistically significant in the glaucoma patient group 11/11 sectors (t-test p<0.001), partially significant 5/11 in glaucoma suspect group (t-test p<0.01) and no statistical difference between most sectors in normal group (only 1/11 was significant) (t-test p<0.9). Sensitivity and specificity of the HSA protocol in detecting glaucoma was 97% and 86% respectively, while for glaucoma suspect were 89% and 79%. The use of SAP and mfVEP results in subjects with suspicious glaucomatous visual field defects, identified by low RNFL thickness, is beneficial in confirming early visual field defects. The new HSA protocol used in the mfVEP testing can be used to detect glaucomatous visual field defects in both glaucoma and glaucoma suspect patient. Using this protocol in addition to SAP analysis can provide information about focal visual field differences across the horizontal midline, and confirm suspicious field defects. Sensitivity and specificity of the mfVEP test showed very promising results and correlated with other anatomical changes in glaucoma field loss. The Intersector analysis protocol can detect early field changes not detected by standard HFA test.
Objective perimetry, multifocal VEP, visual field testing, glaucomatous field loss, glaucoma suspect, SAP, HFA