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Esther G. González, Luminita Tarita-Nistor, Samuel N. Markowitz, Martin J. Steinbach; Computer-Based Test to Measure Optimal Visual Acuity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(10):4838-4845. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.06-1240.
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purpose. The authors present a computer-based method for evaluating the visual acuity of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It incorporates four features known to improve visual acuity: high contrast, white optotypes on a black background to reduce intraocular scatter, proportional layout to reduce the effects of crowding, and multiple optotypes to minimize the effects of fixation instability and to maximize the likelihood of optotype detection.
methods. Experiment 1 evaluated the best-eye acuity of 24 patients with AMD using the ETDRS chart and three versions of the Tumbling E acuity test: multiple black optotypes on a white background, single white optotype on a black background, and multiple white optotypes on a black background. Experiment 2 compared the two White E optotype tests with the ETDRS in patients with AMD, and Experiment 3 measured probability summation in persons with normal vision.
results. Multiple white optotypes on a black background yielded the highest acuity estimates and the ETDRS the lowest. The Single E test yielded a lower estimate of acuity than the two Multiple E tests. The effect of polarity—white on black was better than black on white—was consistent with results found in persons with healthy retinas. For patients with AMD, acuity measured with the Multiple E test was independent of that measured with the ETDRS, but acuity measured with the Single E test decreased as acuity worsened. For the participants with normal vision, the differences between the Multiple and Single E tests were within the known limits of test–retest variability.
conclusions. The multiple-optotype, reversed-polarity test provides a measure of the optimal visual acuity of which a person is capable and, in this sense, may be a useful tool for assessing rehabilitation progress.
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