The Advanced Imaging for Glaucoma (AIG) Bioengineering Research Partnership was funded by the National Eye Institute (National Institutes of Health grant R01 EY013516) to develop and evaluate advanced imaging technologies for the diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma. The AIG consortium included technology, resource, and clinical centers. The funding period began on September 1, 2003 and ended on August 31, 2013.   AIG included a longitudinal observational study that enrolled 145 normal (healthy eyes) participants, 394 glaucoma suspect and pre-perimetric glaucoma participants (patients with risk factors or signs of glaucoma but no definite visual field damage), and 248 perimetric glaucoma participants (patients with glaucomatous visual field loss on perimetric testing). The study has resulted in many publications on technological advances and clinical outcome. The rich clinical and imaging data generated by AIG continue to be analyzed and there is ongoing preparation of manuscripts for publication.

The imaging tests evaluated in the AIG study include ones that existed at the beginning of the study (scanning laser tomography, scanning laser polarimetry, time-domain optical coherence tomography [OCT]), as well as that developed during the study period (spectral-domain optical coherence tomography).

AIG resulted in several innovations in diagnostic imaging. Macular ganglion cell analysis was developed in AIG, and is now routinely used by glaucoma clinicians. Total retinal blood flow using Doppler OCT was also developed in AIG and continues to be used by researchers. OCT angiography was pioneered by AIG investigators and since 2014 have become an important new imaging technology for ophthalmology. 

Several imaging technologies were compared in the AIG study. Spectral-domain OCT provided the best diagnostic accuracy, especially, when measurements from the optic disc, peripapillary nerve fiber layer, and macular ganglion cell complex, were used in combination. We also found that OCT parameters were useful in the prediction and monitoring of glaucoma progression.


Image by Zhassulan Zhaynaqov

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