PURPOSE: To characterize the 24-hour pattern of intraocular pressure (IOP) in untreated ocular hypertensive (OHTN) patients. METHODS: IOP measurements were taken every 2 hours during a 24-hour period from 15 untreated OHTN patients (ages 41-77 years). Measurements were both sitting and supine (diurnal) and supine only (nocturnal). Mean diurnal and nocturnal IOPs in the OHTN group were compared to previously reported values in age-matched healthy and glaucomatous eyes. Post hoc analysis compared the 24-hour IOP pattern of the OHTN patients who converted to glaucoma and those who did not with that in the same healthy and glaucomatous eyes. RESULTS: Mean sitting and supine IOPs were significantly higher in the OHTN group than in the healthy control but not the glaucoma group. Similar to the glaucoma group, the OHTN group demonstrated significant differences from healthy controls in diurnal IOP variation and IOP changes upon awakening in habitual and supine positions. The 24-hour IOP curve acrophases and amplitudes for OHTNs were closer to those of the glaucoma than the healthy control group in the habitual position. Thirty-three percent of OHTNs developed glaucoma during a mean follow-up period of 4.3 ± 3.8 years. Similar to findings in the glaucoma group, habitual IOP curve phase delay, habitual IOP variation, diurnal-to-nocturnal IOP changes, and IOP changes upon awakening of the converters were significantly different from those in healthy controls. There were no differences between nonconverters and other groups. CONCLUSIONS: Baseline 24-hour IOP pattern in OHTN patients is similar to that in glaucomatous patients. In contrast to nonconverters, OHTN patients who converted to glaucoma are significantly different from healthy controls.
Hamilton Glaucoma Center and Department of Ophthalmology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA. email@example.com