Summary of Glaucoma Diagnostic Testing Accuracy: An Evidence-Based Meta-Analysis

Saad Ahmed, Zainab Khan, Francie Si, Alex Mao, Irene Pan, Fatemeh Yazdi, Alexander Tsertsvadze, Cindy Hutnik, David Moher, David Tingey, Graham E. Trope, Karim F. Damji, Jean-Eric Tarride, Ron Goeree, William Hodge


Background: New glaucoma diagnostic technologies are penetrating clinical care and are changing rapidly. Having a systematic review of these technologies will help clinicians and decision makers and help identify gaps that need to be addressed. This systematic review studied five glaucoma technologies compared to the gold standard of white on white perimetry for glaucoma detection.

Methods: OVID® interface: MEDLINE® (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations), EMBASE®, BIOSIS Previews®, CINAHL®, PubMed, and the Cochrane Library were searched. A gray literature search was also performed. A technical expert panel, information specialists, systematic review method experts and biostatisticians were used. A PRISMA flow diagram was created and a random effect meta-analysis was performed.

Results: A total of 2,474 articles were screened. The greatest accuracy was found with frequency doubling technology (FDT) (diagnostic odds ratio (DOR): 57.7) followed by blue on yellow perimetry (DOR: 46.7), optical coherence tomography (OCT) (DOR: 41.8), GDx (DOR: 32.4) and Heidelberg retina tomography (HRT) (DOR: 17.8). Of greatest concern is that tests for heterogeneity were all above 50%, indicating that cutoffs used in these newer technologies were all very varied and not uniform across studies.

Conclusions: Glaucoma content experts need to establish uniform cutoffs for these newer technologies, so that studies that compare these technologies can be interpreted more uniformly. Nevertheless, synthesized data at this time demonstrate that amongst the newest technologies, OCT has the highest glaucoma diagnostic accuracy followed by GDx and then HRT.

J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(9):641-649

Correction in J Clin Med Res. 2017;9(3):231, doi:


Glaucoma; Diagnostic techniques; Diagnostic accuracies; Systematic review; Meta-analysis

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