Background: Reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucomatous eyes does not always prevent disease progression. Objective: To determine the clinical factors associated with progressive optic disc damage in glaucomatous eyes receiving treatment to reduce IOP. Methods: Baseline and follow-up optic disc photographs as well as demographic and clinical data were retrospectively studied in 186 eyes of 93 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, and in 138 eyes of 69 patients with normal-pressure glaucoma. The patients with primary open-angle glaucoma were included in the study only if their treated IOPs during a follow-up period of 5 years were less than 21 mm Hg. The patients with normal-pressure glaucoma were included only if their IOPs were reduced by at least 20% during the follow-up period. The association of progressive optic disc damage with patient- and eye-specific characteristics was examined using multivariate analysis. Results: During the 5-year study period, 141 (43.5%) of the 324 eyes exhibited progressive optic disc damage defined by at least a 5% decrease in the neural rim area-to-disc area ratio. Using multivariate analysis, the following were found to be strongly associated with progressive neural rim damage: a baseline smaller neural rim area-disc area ratio (P<.001); a baseline larger zone β area-disc area ratio (P = .04); a baseline larger parapapillary atrophy length-disc circumference ratio (P = .05); a diagnosis of normal-pressure glaucoma (P = .01); and combined medical and surgical treatment prior to the study period (P = .01). Conclusions: Clinical factors other than IOP may be important indicators of subsequent progression of glaucomatous optic disc damage. Our findings suggest that eyes with advanced glaucomatous optic disc damage and normal-pressure glaucoma are more likely to progress despite receiving treatment to reduce IOP.
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