The relationship between optic disc area and open-angle glaucoma: The Baltimore eye survey

Harry A. Quigley, Rohit Varma, James M. Tielsch, Joanne Katz, Alfred Sommer, Donna L. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine if eyes with larger optic disc area are more likely to have open-angle glaucoma or to have glaucoma at lower intraocular pressure (IOP). Methods: Data were collected from a population-based sample of adults residing in East Baltimore, consisting of demographic information, ocular examinations, automated and static/kinetic visual field tests, IOP as measured by applanation tonometry, and image analysis of the optic disc. Optic disc area was calculated using refractive error to correct magnification. Open-angle glaucoma was defined by visual field and optic disc criteria. One eye from each of 75 patients with glaucoma was compared to those of 3,518 subjects without glaucoma. Results: Although optic disc area was somewhat larger among patients with glaucoma than control subjects, in a regression model adjusting for age, gender, and race, the significance of this difference had a probability of 0.06. Among patients with glaucoma, disc area was not related to IOP level measured at study examination. Conclusion: Disc area is a weak risk factor for open-angle glaucoma. Disc area did not differ between patients with glaucoma who had lower IOP and those who had higher IOP among a group with glaucoma that were identified in a population survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-352
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of glaucoma
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Glaucoma
  • Imaging
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Optic disc area
  • Pathogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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