To construct an optical coherence tomography (OCT) nerve fiber layer (NFL) parameter that has maximal correlation and agreement with visual field (VF) mean deviation (MD). The NFL_MD parameter in dB scale was calculated from the peripapillary NFL thickness profile nonlinear transformation and VF area-weighted averaging. From the Advanced Imaging for Glaucoma study, 245 normal, 420 pre-perimetric glaucoma (PPG), and 289 perimetric glaucoma (PG) eyes were selected. NFL_MD had significantly higher correlation (Pearson R: 0.68 vs 0.55, p < 0.001) with VF_MD than the overall NFL thickness. NFL_MD also had significantly higher sensitivity in detecting PPG (0.14 vs 0.08) and PG (0.60 vs 0.43) at the 99% specificity level. NFL_MD had better reproducibility than VF_MD (0.35 vs 0.69 dB, p < 0.001). The differences between NFL_MD and VF_MD were −0.34 ± 1.71 dB, −0.01 ± 2.08 dB and 3.54 ± 3.18 dB and 7.17 ± 2.68 dB for PPG, early PG, moderate PG, and severe PG subgroups, respectively. In summary, OCT-based NFL_MD has better correlation with VF_MD and greater diagnostic sensitivity than the average NFL thickness. It has better reproducibility than VF_MD, which may be advantageous in detecting progression. It agrees well with VF_MD in early glaucoma but underestimates damage in moderate~advanced stages.
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