May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Visual Acuity Estimates From Visual Evoked Potentials: A Comparison of Two Methods
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • H. Langrova
    University Eye Hospital, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tuebingen, Germany
  • H. Jaegle
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tuebingen, Germany
    Department of Ophthalmology, Tuebingen, Germany
  • A. Messias
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tuebingen, Germany
  • E. Zrenner
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tuebingen, Germany
    Department of Ophthalmology, Tuebingen, Germany
  • A. Kurtenbach
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  H. Langrova, None; H. Jaegle, None; A. Messias, None; E. Zrenner, None; A. Kurtenbach, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Supported by a German Research Foundation grant JA997/8-1 donated to HJ and EZ and the Tistou and Charlotte Kerstan Foundation Vision 2000.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 3314. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      H. Langrova, H. Jaegle, A. Messias, E. Zrenner, A. Kurtenbach; Visual Acuity Estimates From Visual Evoked Potentials: A Comparison of Two Methods. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3314. doi:

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

Purpose: : The use of the Visual Evoked Cortical Potential (VEP) as an objective method for measuring visual acuity has gained increasing popularity over the last 30 years. A number of methods have been proposed, which differ in stimulus timing, contrast and spatial parameters as well as electrode placement. The aim of this study was to compare two methods with respect to comparability and repeatability.

Methods: : Subjective measurements of visual acuities were ascertained using the Freiburg Acuity Test (FrACT) and the ETDRS chart. Objective measurements were made using transient sweep VEPs, based on the method of Hajek & Zrenner (1988), and steady-state VEPs, adapted from Wolf & Bach (2006). Each VEP was recorded twice and with 2 different electrode placements (10-20, Laplace). Ten healthy subjects, 4 male, 6 female, aged between 26 and 67 years were included. Visual acuities were measured by all 4 methods with best optical correction and using Bangerter occlusion foils, which reduced acuity from 1 to ca. 0.8, 0.6, 0.3, 0,2 and 0.1. The research followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Results: : Visual acuities (log MAR) measured using ETDRS and FrACT were highly correlated (r2=0.94, CV= 0.25), however values measured by FrACT were significantly lower than those of ETDRS (t-test; p< 0.001) by an average of 0.12. FrACT gave better correlations than ETDRS for all VEP acuity conditions. Acuities estimated from the transient VEP tended to overestimate high and underestimate low acuities (based on FrACT; r2 = 0.86 (CV=0.36) and 0.91(CV=1.06)). Laplace electrode placement did not improve transient VEP analysis. While VEP response amplitudes were higher for transient VEPs, a more objective analysis could be performed for the steady-state VEPs by calculating signal-to-noise ratios. Acuities estimated from steady state VEP were similar to those of FrACT. However, for both the variability was large.

Conclusions: : VEP might be used to estimate the visual acuity in cases were VEPs responses show good signal/noise ratio. However, while we found a good overall correlation of the acuity estimates from VEP with those of FrACT, VEP estimates are generally beset by a significant variability and reduced repeatability, allowing only rough individual acuity estimates from VEP measurements.

Keywords: visual acuity • electrophysiology: clinical 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.