PURPOSE. To investigate whether there is significant selective reduction in short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) ganglion cell density in early to moderate glaucoma. METHODS. Peripheral achromatic resolution acuity (an indirect measure of the underlying midget ganglion cell density) and peripheral chromatic resolution acuity under conditions of blue cone isolation (an indirect measure of the underlying small bistratified ganglion cell density) were measured at 13degrees eccentricity in four oblique meridians in 15 eyes (mean age, 64.6 +/- 9.6 years) with early to moderate glaucoma. The results from the subjects with glaucoma were compared with those in a group of 17 age-matched normal eyes (mean age, 62.5 +/- 6.6 years). RESULTS. Mean achromatic resolution acuity across the four locations was significantly lower in the subjects with glaucoma than in the normal subjects (2.92 vs. 4.01 cyc/deg). Mean chromatic resolution acuity across the four locations was also significantly lower in the subjects with glaucoma than the normal subjects (0.78 vs. 0.99 cyc/deg). There was no selective loss of mean SWS acuity in the subjects with glaucoma. Individual location analysis revealed that the chromatic-achromatic resolution ratio was not significantly different in the subjects with glaucoma who had early glaucomatous damage when compared with the normal subjects. The chromatic-achromatic resolution ratio was lower than normal at certain locations in certain individuals with early glaucoma. CONCLUSIONS. The results indicate that there is no evidence of significant selective reduction in global SWS ganglion cell density in early to moderate glaucoma. However, there may be selective loss of SWS ganglion cell density at individual locations in individual eyes.