To evaluate the importance of central versus far peripheral visual field (VF) loss in assessing disability in glaucoma.
In total, 231 patients with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma completed 24-2 VF testing and automated peripheral VFs using the suprathreshold 30- to 60-degree pattern. Questionnaires assessed fear of falling (FoF), quality of life (QOL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and driving habits; nonsedentary time, reading speed, and gait were objectively measured. Multivariable regression models analyzed the effect of central VF and/or peripheral VF damage on each outcome.
In models including both central and peripheral VF damage (independent effects), greater central, but not peripheral, VF damage was associated with greater FoF, worse QOL, fewer daily steps, and difficulty with IADLs (P 0.5 for peripheral). For gait measures, greater peripheral, but not central, damage was associated with shorter steps and shorter strides, as well as greater variability in step length (P 0.14 for central). Model R2 values were not substantially higher (less than 5% additional explained variability) for models including both central and peripheral VF damage as compared to the best models incorporating only one region of VF damage (i.e., central or peripheral).
The relative importance of central 24 degrees versus more peripheral VF damage differs across functional domains in patients with glaucoma. Central damage is more strongly associated with most disability outcomes, although peripheral damage is more associated with specific gait measures. Studies examining the relative importance of various VF regions should assess functional domain separately and eschew integrated measures of quality of life/activity limitation.