Original Research

Identifying the critical factors that influence intraocular pressure using an automated regression tree

Nishanee Rampersad, Rekha Hansraj
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 76, No 1 | a364 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v76i1.364 | © 2017 Nishanee Rampersad, Rekha Hansraj | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2016 | Published: 28 February 2017

About the author(s)

Nishanee Rampersad, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Rekha Hansraj, Discipline of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Background: Assessment of intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important test in glaucoma. In addition, anterior segment variables may be useful in screening for glaucoma risk. Studies have investigated the associations between IOP and anterior segment variables using traditional statistical methods. The classification and regression tree (CART) method provides another dimension to detect important variables in a relationship automatically.

Aim: To identify the critical factors that influence IOP using a regression tree.

Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional research design was used. Anterior segment variables were measured in 700 participants using the iVue100 optical coherence tomographer, Oculus Keratograph and Nidek US-500 ultrasonographer. A Goldmann applanation tonometer was used to measure IOP. Data from only the right eyes were analysed because of high levels of interocular symmetry. A regression tree model was generated with the CART method and Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to assess the relationships between the ocular variables.

Results: The mean IOP for the entire sample was 14.63 mmHg ± 2.40 mmHg. The CART method selected three anterior segment variables in the regression tree model. Central corneal thickness was the most important variable with a cut-off value of 527 µm. The other important variables included average paracentral corneal thickness and axial anterior chamber depth. Corneal thickness measurements increased towards the periphery and were significantly correlated with IOP (r ≥ 0.50, p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusion: The CART method identified the anterior segment variables that influenced IOP. Understanding the relationship between IOP and anterior segment variables may help to clinically identify patients with ocular risk factors associated with elevated IOPs.


Intraocular pressure; CART; regression tree; anterior segment parameters


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