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CASSIA SENGER, Mirella Aparecida Oliveira, C Gustavo De Moraes, Andre Messias, Jayter Silva Paula, Raquel pantojo Souza; Saccadic movements during an exploratory visual search task in patients with glaucomatous visual field loss. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):1976.
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Purpose: Patients with visual field (VF) loss may struggle to perform simple daily tasks due to impaired visual search (VS). We have previously described the association of worse VS performance and localized losses in the peripheral VF areas in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)(Senger et al., Graefe's Archiv, 2019). The objective of this study was to evaluate the saccadic movements (SM) in POAG patients and healthy controls during an exploratory VS digit-based task.
Methods: Thirteen normal vision (visual acuity better than 0.2 logMAR) participants (seven POAG, 65±13 years old; six controls, 51±6 years old) underwent a comprehensive ophthalmological examination, including Humphrey VF tests (SITA-Fast 24-2). They were asked to perform a monocular exploratory standardized digital visual search task that quantifies the duration for recognizing the number “4” on a random array of digits distributed in five sectors on the screen. Each sector was spatially matched with five areas of the total deviation map from VF, after angle, and distance adjustments. During the task, all SM were concomitantly recorded in the same eye with a video-based eye-tracker (Iscan ETL 100H, MA, USA). Correlation between the sectorial number of SM and mean sensitivity scores of each VF area was tested, as well as between the total number of SM and the VF mean deviation, age, gender, visual acuity, POAG diagnosis, and the total VS time.
Results: The total number of SM showed a significant correlation only with the VS time (r=0.87, p<0.001). No significant correlation was observed between the sectorial number of SM and the sensitivity of the five VF areas. Nevertheless, patients with POAG presented a significantly higher total number of SM than controls (mean±standard deviation: 87.3±45.7 vs. 54.9±30.5 saccades, p=0.002 - Mann Whitney U test).
Conclusions: Patients with POAG performed more SM in this exploratory VS task, but no topographical association with VF areas with lower sensitivity could be established. Since POAG patients have shown lower VS performance and the number of SM correlated with VS time, we believe that the increase of the SM may be a mechanism of compensation for the glaucomatous VF loss that impacts VS performance.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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