March 1994
Volume 35, Issue 3
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Articles  |   March 1994
Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy.
Author Affiliations
  • M J Mayer
    Program in Experimental Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.
  • B Ward
    Program in Experimental Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.
  • R Klein
    Program in Experimental Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.
  • J B Talcott
    Program in Experimental Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.
  • R F Dougherty
    Program in Experimental Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.
  • A Glucs
    Program in Experimental Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 1994, Vol.35, 1138-1149. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      M J Mayer, B Ward, R Klein, J B Talcott, R F Dougherty, A Glucs; Flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance in pre-exudative age-related maculopathy.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(3):1138-1149.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate whether foveal flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance are good predictors of exudative age-related maculopathy (ARM) when the effects of aging, retinal illuminance, and criterion differences are controlled. METHODS: Fellow eyes of monocular exudative ARM patients were tested at baseline. Seven of these eyes have now developed exudative ARM. Therefore, at baseline they were in pre-exudative stages of ARM. The foveal flicker sensitivity and fundus appearance of the pre-exudative and nonconverted eyes were compared with healthy, age-matched eyes. The flicker stimulus was a uniform, 2.8 deg circular field at 660 nm, modulated sinusoidally at frequencies from 2.5 to 50 Hz. Fundus photographs were evaluated using the Wisconsin ARM grading system. RESULTS: Flicker modulation sensitivity at two frequencies discriminated pre-exudative from healthy older eyes with 100% accuracy. Using the same criterion, pre-exudative eyes also were discriminated from nonconverted eyes with 100% accuracy. Whereas an overall fundus ARM risk score discriminated pre-exudative from healthy older eyes with 100% accuracy, it did not discriminate pre-exudative from nonconverted eyes at better than chance levels. CONCLUSIONS: There were functional changes in the retina preceding development of exudative ARM. Foveal flicker sensitivity at low- to mid-temporal frequencies seemed highly sensitive to these pre-exudative changes in this relatively small group of subjects. The authors hypothesize that foveal flicker sensitivity is a good predictor of exudative ARM and a sensitive monitor of retinal function in pre-exudative ARM. These predictions are being tested on a larger, independent sample.

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