PURPOSE. To assess the comparative accuracy of potential screening tests for open angle glaucoma (OAG). METHODS. Medline, Embase, Biosis (to November 2005), Science Citation Index (to December 2005), and The Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2005) were searched. Studies assessing candidate screening tests for detecting OAG in persons older than 40 years that reported true and false positives and negatives were included. Meta-analysis was undertaken using the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic model. RESULTS. Forty studies enrolling over 48,000 people reported nine tests. Most tests were reported by only a few studies. Frequency-doubling technology (FDT; C-20-1) was significantly more sensitive than ophthalmoscopy (30, 95% credible interval [CrI] 0–62) and Goldmann applanation tonometry (GAT; 45, 95% CrI 17–68), whereas threshold standard automated perimetry (SAP) and Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph (HRT II) were both more sensitive than GAT (41, 95% CrI 14–64 and 39, 95% CrI 3–64, respectively). GAT was more specific than both FDT C-20-5 (19, 95% CrI 0-53) and threshold SAP (14, 95% CrI 1-37). Judging performance by diagnostic odds ratio, FDT, oculokinetic perimetry, and HRT II are promising tests. Ophthalmoscopy, SAP, retinal photography, and GAT had relatively poor performance as single tests. These findings are based on heterogeneous data of limited quality and as such are associated with considerable uncertainty. CONCLUSIONS. No test or group of tests was clearly superior for glaucoma screening. Further research is needed to evaluate the comparative accuracy of the most promising tests.Supported by the UK National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme Project no. 04/08/02 and by core funding of The Health Services Research Unit and the Health Economics Research Unit by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates
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