Detection of macular function changes in early (AREDS 2) and intermediate (AREDS 3) age-related macular degeneration

Ophthalmologica. 2011;225(3):155-60. doi: 10.1159/000320340. Epub 2010 Dec 9.


Background/aim: To evaluate if retinal sensitivity values obtained with a dedicated (screening) device can be used to functionally identify early and intermediate age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

Methods: A fully automatic fundus perimeter combined with an image-stabilized scanning laser ophthalmoscope was used in 200 ARMD patients (319 eyes) in 5 study sites. The age-matched control group consisted of 200 normals. Sensitivity point values (S values), mean retinal sensitivity, number of points below 24 dB (K value, cutoff for normal values) and fixation stability were recorded.

Results: Of 319 eyes, 164 were classified as early (AREDS 2) and 155 as intermediate (AREDS 3) ARMD. Mean retinal sensitivity was significantly reduced in ARMD patients versus normals (p < 0.001). K values were different between normals and ARMD patients (p < 0.001). Fixation stability did not differ between early and intermediate ARMD patients.

Conclusions: Macular sensitivity is reduced in patients with early and intermediate ARMD when compared to age-matched normals. These changes may be detected with a screening device.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / physiopathology*
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis*
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields / physiology