Dr. Girkin hopes to determine whether a new technology for analyzing the optic nerve can be used to measure glaucomatous damage. This technology, known as confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (CSLO), has the potential to allow for earlier diagnosis and to more accurately assess the progression of the disease. The quantitative aspect of currently used techniques is limited because of the normal variations in optic disc structure that occur even in a healthy population. However, structural differences between the two eyes in a healthy individual appear to be small, and Dr. Girkin is seeking to determine if measuring these differences with CSLO can be used to control for normal variability. In other words, he will determine the amount of asymmetry in optic disc structure in healthy individuals and determine if there is significantly greater asymmetry between the eyes of glaucoma patients or patients with high intraocular pressure. This is possible because even though glaucoma typically occurs in both eyes, it often progresses more quickly in one eye than in the other.
First published on: June 10, 2008
Last modified on: June 11, 2008