New method developed for early detection of glaucoma
With a new approach, in which visual field defects can be precisely detected within one minute, scientists at the University Medical Center Magdeburg want to significantly improve diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma patients.
Over 800,000 people in Germany have been diagnosed with glaucoma and it is estimated that many more are undiagnosed. This disease is one of the most common causes of blindness. To prevent lasting damage to the optic nerve, early detection is essential. How can visual field diagnostics be further improved? This was the central research question that research group leader Prof. Dr. Michael Hoffmann from the University Eye Hospital Magdeburg and his team addressed. In an efficacy study, his team of scientists tested the rapid kampimetry developed as a new screening method by Prof. Dr. Friedrich Hoffmann (Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin) and Fabian Müller (industry partner H & M Medical Solutions GmbH), with which visual field defects in glaucoma can be detected in less than one minute. They worked together on the method and the results were published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in April 2022.
The visual field describes the area that a person can perceive visually without moving the eyes and head. A visual field measurement is used to identify the areas where vision is not so good. This makes it possible to identify which part of the retina or optic nerve could be diseased. In diagnostics, the standard automatic perimetry has been used for this purpose, among other things, as a common subjective standard visual field test. The disadvantage of this method is that "it tests the visual field only very selectively with poor visible stimuli, which has a strenuous effect on the patients. This impairs the reliability and significance of the test procedure," explains Prof. Dr. Michael Hoffmann. He heads the section for clinical and experimental sensory physiology in Magdeburg. These problems could be countered by using fast-moving test markers that systematically scan the visual field. "In the fast campimetry we use, fast movements and high contrast are integrated into the examination of the central visual field to detect defects more easily." Subjects' central visual fields were tested by showing a moving test mark that systematically traversed visual areas in less than a minute. Study data showed that this method was able to detect visual field defects that were not detected by conventional perimetry.
With the successful completion of the efficacy study, the method is now to be systematically and scientifically tested in a larger study group, so that it can be transferred as a concrete application from the laboratory to the patient as quickly as possible. According to Prof. Dr. Michael Hoffmann, a broader use in patient care would also be conceivable in the long term: "The method is also suitable for diagnostics as a telemedical procedure anywhere in the world, for example also in rural areas."
Original Work: Fabian Müller, Khaldoon O. Al-Nosairy, Francie H. Kramer, Christian Meltendorf, Nidele Djouoma, Hagen Thieme, Michael B. Hoffmann and Friedrich Hoffmann, Rapid Campimetry—A Novel Screening Method for Glaucoma Diagnosis, J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(8), 2156
Photo: Visual field measurement detects the areas where vision is not as good. The new screening method of rapid campimetry can detect visual field defects in less than a minute. Photographer: Andres Peinelt/UMMD
EVENT TIP: The 21st Week of Sight (Oct. 8-15) will also stop at Magdeburg Cathedral with a special event this year. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., experts from the Magdeburg University Eye Clinic will be on hand to provide information on eye health.