Aim: To evaluate the possible causes of the greater perimetric damage found in OAG subjects with type A behaviour and the possible role of psycho-physiological stress.
Materials and methods: 80 patients with OAG, 44 women and 36 men, 40 with type A behaviour and 40 with type B studied with the Type A/B Personality Questionnaire (A modified version of the Jenkins Activity Survey), underwent a complete ophthalmologic examination consisting of bio-microscopy, tonometry and daily tonometric curve, examination of the visual field by means of Octopus 1-2-3 computerised perimeter and its assessment with the Glaucoma Staging System 2 (GSS2), morphological monitoring of the Retinal Nerve Fibre Layer (RNFL) with GDxVCC and monitoring of arterial tension (times 8.30 am–10.30 am–12.30 pm–3 pm–5 pm and 7 pm) with a UA-1010 automatic Digital Blood Pressure Monitor device.
Results: In subjects with type A behaviour fluctuation in IOP values is observed in the daytime hours in concomitance with similar oscillations in arterial pressure values. In the subjects with type B behaviour both IOP and the arterial pressure values remain more or less constant with oscillations that are not statistically significant. In GSS2 more significant impairment of the visual field is observed in subjects with type A behaviour. In the same subjects, GDxVCC examination shows statistically significant impairment of the values. The NFI index is positively correlated with the perimetric damage (r=0.74).
Conclusions: Personality study is an extremely important part of the diagnostic work-up and treatment of OAG. The frequent oscillations in IOP observed in subjects with type A behaviour could constitute a risk factor in the evolution of perimetric damage.
Keywords: Type a behaviour pattern, open angle glaucoma, intraocular pressure, perimetric damage, arterial pressure